(SPONSORED) — The essential worker shortage continues to impact communities across the United States. Tatiana Bailey, Director of Data-Driven Economic Strategies (DDES) explains the impacts of the shortage.

Bailey points to the nurses’ strike that happened earlier this month at Mount Sinai Hospital. She says the strike is about safer patient-to-staff ratios, which have apparently been an issue for many decades.

According to Bailey, nurses are concerned about losing their licenses due to unsafe ratios. When Bailey spoke to a nurse she knows, according to them, if a doctor places an incorrect order or medication dose, the nurse is technically liable because the nurses are the ones who administered it.

Between 2020 and 2021, the number of working U.S. nurses dropped by over 100,000 the largest single-year decline said Bailey. Also, 52% of nurses polled nationwide said they were considering leaving the profession. The American College of Nursing says the shortage of nursing, faculty and inadequate expansion of nursing schools have narrowed the pipeline.

Bailey is also worried about Childcare providers, she explains that from 2019 to 2020, the U.S. lost 160,000 workers, a drop of 19%. While some of the workforce has returned, the U.S. is still down 72,000 childcare workers.

“Between staffing shortages, closures of childcare centers, and the thousands of dollars it costs per month to have childcare, many parents have exited the workforce,” said Bailey.

Bailey explains the inherent shortage of specialized workers in particular has her thinking we may see more employee power, not only in terms of wages but working conditions. Bailey also thinks we may see more unions and the unionization of workers.

“We can argue whether this is good or bad, but it does reflect broader issues like patient safety in industries like health and livable wages in industries like education,” said Bailey.