Assessing business interruption claims in the pandemic era. Today’s labor shortage is impacting the claims process in multiple ways and no industry appears to be immune. (Photo: TMLsPhotoG/Adobe Stock)

Where have all the workers gone? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in October was just 1.1 % higher than it was before the pandemic, at 4.6%. Still, the supply of workers remains shockingly low. The Conference Board calls today’s labor shortage unprecedented and says, “If left unchecked it could easily develop into one of the worst labor shortages of the last 50 years.”

Even as the reopening of schools and businesses, initially delayed by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, continues to progress, labor shortages are expected to persist. In addition to the far-reaching impacts on the global economy, it is becoming more common to see labor shortages play a role in commercial property claims. Many aspects of the claims process are being impacted and the labor shortage is forcing claims professionals and forensic accountants to adjust their approach including the questions they might ask, the different types of documentation to review and the timeframes of the financial records used to calculate a loss.

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