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Job Openings Nosedive in November — Only 1.4 Jobs for Every Worker!

Job Openings Nudged Lower in November The number of job openings on the market in the United States edged slightly lower in November, according to the latest figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The job openings rate decreased to 1.4 openings per available worker during the month, down from 1.5 openings in October. This marks the second straight month in which job openings have declined, bringing the overall rate down from its peak this summer of around 2 openings per available worker. The decline in job openings appears to be in line with the nation’s overall economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted employment and the labor market more widely. The BLS noted that job postings overall were still 8.2 million higher than pre-pandemic levels, but the rate of job postings came in 16 percent lower than the peak level in February 2020. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent in November, according to the most recent figures released by the BLS. The drop in job openings in November was most dramatic in the accommodation and food services sector, which experienced the largest reduction of any sector, with the openings rate falling to .7 openings per available worker, from 1.1 in October. The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest-hit sectors in terms of employment throughout the pandemic and its recovery is likely to be slower than other industries. However, there were some encouraging signs over the course of November. The health care and social assistance sector saw the greatest job openings increase, with an openings rate of 1.5 in November, up from 1.3 in October. This may be attributed to the fact that many health care workers have been hard at work throughout the pandemic and are now in need of additional staff to help keep up with the influx of patients as Covid-19 cases continue to surge. The job openings rate figures released by the BLS further emphasize the current state of the labor market and the continued effects of the pandemic on employment. The data certainly suggests that the employment picture is improving in some parts of the economy, but there is still a long way to go before the labor market returns to pre-pandemic levels.