Job Openings Are at Record Highs. Why Aren’t Unemployed Americans Filling Them?
A disconnect between the jobs available and people looking for work is slowing the recovery of the job market, according to economists. Millions of Americans in May said they couldn’t find a job, and millions of employers said they couldn’t find workers. During the pandemic, many workers moved to areas where jobs aren’t available, many workers now want to work remotely, a shift in the economy means jobs in industries such as warehousing aren’t in places where workers live or suit the skills they have, and extended unemployment benefits and relief checks have enabled Americans to be more selective in their job search.
Seven in 10 job seekers who last worked in the leisure and hospitality industry want to work in a different industry, according to a recent survey by online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter, and 55% of job applicants want remote jobs. Three in 10 U.S. workers don’t want to return to their old jobs, according to an April survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, up from 19.8% last July. “The labor market is a matching market where you need to choose something and be chosen by it,” said Julia Pollak, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter. “This is not a market for shoes and pizzas. It is a very complicated market.”