Labor is in short supply, so it is more expensive. Longing for pre-COVID times will not help. What will help is paying a living wage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly earnings of all employees in the U.S. working for private companies rose to $30.85 in September. If you are a Pennsylvania employer paying at or near the embarrassingly low wage of $7.25, you will have a worker shortage. Period. In February, Gov. Tom Wolf called for a minimum-wage increase, but our Republican Legislature thinks that would be socialism.