Hmmm-more like the perception of a possible glut in the future. A future that is now in the past, if that doesn't sound too crazy.
In lots of professions, including anesthesia, there are people who do work force analysis to project future trends. Then those projections are used to make policy decisions. So in the early 90s, policies steered people away from anesthesia (medical and nursing), in order to keep the workforce balanced with the actual need.
I cannot say that this explanation is a widely accepted truth. I have heard it in some circles. But of course, there are other explanations too. And which one of them you think is the primary reason for how we got where we are, well is somewhat personal opinion.
The pendulum always swings. There aren't enough providers, salaries go up, lots of people want to go to school, schools increase enrollment, spots get filled, salaries level off, sign on bonuses dry up, less interest in school, schools might even decrease class size a little, until the next cycle, and it starts over.
This current shortage is more pronounced, and prolonged than previous ones. Even so, some people are claiming to see signs of recovery already, while others dispute this.
What can I say? Keep your ear to the ground, and try to read the signs as best you can.