Job Openings are at a Record High in the U.S.
In yet another sign of the times during the COVID-19 pandemic, job openings have soared to a record high in the United States.
Have you been out to eat at a restaurant here lately? If so, you probably experienced longer than usual wait times due to businesses being open at 100% with only a fraction of the workforce that was in place prior to the pandemic.
KOAM reports that there were 8.1 million job openings in March, an increase of nearly 8%. That figure is the highest on records going back to December 2000.
Many businesses, particularly those in the service industry, are having a hard time finding new workers. A lot of people are reluctant to take jobs for fear of contracting COVID-19. But, several Republicans in Congress argue that the extra $300 per week in federal unemployment in addition to the average state unemployment payment of $320 is discouraging people from looking for jobs.
President Joe Biden disputed the notion that the $300 supplemental payment was to blame for the shortage in the work force. However, he did urge the Labor Department the reinstate the job search rule, which was suspended during the pandemic when many businesses were forced to close:
Anyone collecting unemployment, who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.
It’ll be interesting to see if and when the labor situation returns to some sort of normal.
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