First it was toilet paper and now it’s coins? It seems like the pandemic has been affecting the supply chain of some things that we never gave a second thought to prior to the pandemic. But a shortage of coins? Baffling! Well, it’s true and the Federal Reserve (the central banking system) recently declared a countrywide shortage.
But wait, how did this happen in the first place? One reason is that while the country was shut down, the US Mint (the department responsible for producing coins) wasn’t able to produce as many coins since fewer workers were allowed to enter the facilities. Another reason? People weren’t shopping in stores so coins weren’t circulating like they normally would, nor were they being collected through coin exchange machines.
So who struggles the most when there is a decrease in the supply of coins? Often, it’s the person at the cash register, ringing up purchases in a store who needs to hand out change after a transaction.
The supply shortage should hopefully resolve soon as coin exchange machines and banks open up more widely. It serves as a good reminder that those coins hidden in the corners of your wallets and pockets are still precious!