A combination of factors have workers feeling more confident in looking for better-paying jobs (or at least, less willing to work ones they don’t like for at-or-near minimum wage). While things may seem bleak now between fewer restaurant worker shifts and meme-able signs on fast food drive-thrus, the post-COVID labor recovery in coming years will see a combination of factors restructure how labor and wages work: increased automation of low-end jobs, a move up the value chain of American workers, and the relative scarcity of Gen Z workers compared to Millennials.
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