For every unemployed American there are two job openings
For the last six months, more than 4 million Americans have resigned from their jobs. This leads to a higher unemployment rate in the United States. Is this worrying new tradition just the so-called Great Resignation or is it part of the new normal?
According to a US Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the total number of job openings is double the unemployment rate in December. Since the agency started collecting data in 2000, this December report is the greatest discrepancy on record.
This is evident in the continuous trend of employers posting new job openings and seeking employees. Even if the unemployment rate fell drastically, new jobs are still on the rise. The total number of unemployed workers dropped by 7% including those who are temporarily laid-off. All this while job openings surge at 1.4% in December from the last month.
— Quartz (@qz) February 1, 2022
On a more accurate view, there have been 4 million quits since July and continues up to now. A rate of 2.9% workers or approximately 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in December. That’s a total of 161,000 resignations since November. It was the highest level of quit rate ever recorded. A data report by the recent US Bureau of Labor Job Openings and Labor Turnover proves this.
Resignations were at their peak in December. Sectors like hospitality, leisure, and manufacturing are leading when it comes to job quits. This is according to the economic research director for North America Indeed hiring Lab, Nick Bunker.
Those industries together with wholesale trade and mining also reported difficulties in hiring for job openings. Bunker said, “Wonder why nominal wage growth is so strong? Employers are having a harder time hiring workers and keeping the ones they have.”
— BLS-Labor Statistics (@BLS_gov) January 31, 2022
Looking at all these reports and data, COVID-19 interferences have altered the US job market. While these figures are clear indicators of the pandemic’s effect, it might take a while before job supply and demand becomes balanced.
Glassdoor’s senior economist Daniel Zhao wrote, “Even though Omicron is pushing COVID to record levels, employers are hoping that the wave will be temporary and are keeping jobs open for when the wave recedes.”
While the tight labor market seems stale, the rate of laid-off workers declined to a record of 0.8% from 0.9%. Moreover, these data also prove that wages for private-sector employees will continue to rise. As the number of job openings also continues. This will continue until employers start leveling offers to what job seekers like.