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Published: Nov 16, 2021 8 min read
People wait in line to receive information on their flights after Southwest Airlines continued to cancel and delay a handful of flights
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A record 4.4 million people voluntarily left their jobs in September, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the nationwide labor shortage continues to pick up steam, retail workers, hospitality and service workers and truck drivers are in especially short supply. There is even a Santa Claus shortage, despite the fact that hiring Santas for appearances now costs upwards of $300 an hour.

The ramifications aren't limited to America's workforce, or the companies struggling to hire employees. Virtually every part of the economy is being affected by the labor shortage, and the fallout could cause troubles with your holiday plans — and your budget.

Some workers have left their jobs over coronavirus concerns, others have quit because of fears of contracting the virus or transmitting it to loved ones. Others are joining a growing movement known as the “Great Resignation,” seeking better working conditions, higher pay, a career change or just an extended break.

Whatever workers’ reasons for quitting their jobs, it’s now more difficult than ever for businesses to hire and retain employees. And that could spell headaches for consumers just in time for the holiday season.

Short-staffed businesses may have trouble fulfilling orders or providing sales assistance in stores, and many are being forced to limit hours or cut back on services. As prospective employees gain more leverage, businesses that offer raises and bonuses to attract workers are likely to pass those extra costs on to customers in the form of higher prices.

From travel delays to toy shortages to out-of-stock staples at the supermarket, here’s what consumers should prepare for this holiday season.