PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Empty shelves, long lines and locked doors are all signs of a perfect storm caused by COVID-19 supply chain shortages and the Great Resignation.

Old Dominion University Economics Professor Robert McNab told WAVY, “If you look at the data for Virginia it says we are at near record job openings in the commonwealth and we’re at near record levels in terms of job quits.”

McNab said inflation is driving lower wage workers to just quit in search of higher paying jobs. “If minimum wages had kept pace with inflation over the last two decades the minimum wage would be around $20 an hour, so what we’re seeing is the market is correcting.”

According to McNab, we are entering the era of worker empowerment. “We’re just not used to this idea that workers can demand and receive what they want. It’s a big shock when you compare it to where we were prior to the pandemic,” he said.

We won’t move forward, he said, until the federal reserve aggressively raises interest rates. That’s something to consider if you’re looking to buy a new home or car.

“What you pay for a mortgage, what you pay for a car loan, what you pay for a credit card in terms of interest rates is going to go up digits not tenths of a percent,” McNab said.

The longer it takes the feds to act, he predicts, the longer you can expect long lines.