The Labor Shortage, Plus Reopening : It's Been a Minute The U.S. unemployment rate is still high... so why are we in a labor shortage? Sam chats with Stacey Vanek Smith, host of NPR's The Indicator, and Cardiff Garcia, former co-host of The Indicator, about the American job market and why businesses are having such a hard time hiring. Then, as vaccines have become more widely available and pandemic restrictions lift across the country, people are wandering back out into the world, having experiences they haven't had in over a year. We drop in on a few of these: a dance party, a first date, a game with friends — the small pleasures folks have missed that now feel monumental.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.

Labor Market Mysteries; Plus, Signs Of Life

Labor Market Mysteries; Plus, Signs Of Life

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Patrons at SOCIAL!, a social distanced dance club, get their groove on in their own spotlights. Stephanie Berger/SOCIAL! hide caption

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Stephanie Berger/SOCIAL!

Patrons at SOCIAL!, a social distanced dance club, get their groove on in their own spotlights.

Stephanie Berger/SOCIAL!

The U.S. unemployment rate is still high... so why are we in a labor shortage? Sam chats with Stacey Vanek Smith, host of NPR's The Indicator, and Cardiff Garcia, former co-host of The Indicator, about the American job market and why businesses are having such a hard time hiring.

Then, as vaccines have become more widely available and pandemic restrictions lift across the country, people are wandering back out into the world, having experiences they haven't had in over a year. We drop in on a few of these: a dance party, a first date, a game with friends — the small pleasures folks have missed that now feel monumental.

This episode of 'It's Been a Minute' was produced by Jinae West, Andrea Gutierrez, Sylvie Douglis and Liam McBain. Our editor is Jordana Hochman. Our director of programming is Steve Nelson. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.