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There are two open jobs for every unemployed American

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  • Nate DiCamillo
By Nate DiCamillo

Economics reporter based in New York.

Published Last updated

The great resignation is turning into the great job mismatch.

In December, the number of job openings was nearly double the number of  unemployed people, according to a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released Feb. 1. That’s the biggest mismatch recorded since the agency started collecting the data in 2000.

The gap has grown as employers continue to post new jobs even as the number of unemployed people drops quickly. Including people who were temporarily laid off, the number of unemployed workers fell 7% in December from the previous month, while openings rose 1.4%.

The figures are the latest indicator of how covid-19 disruptions have upended the job market—and that it may still take a while before job demand and supply become more balanced. For now, workers and employers are still struggling to find the right fit, said senior Glassdoor economist Daniel Zhao.

Fewer layoffs

In another sign of a tight labor market, the share of laid-off workers inched down to a record 0.8% after sitting at 0.9% since August.

Overall, Tuesday’s data suggests that wages for private sector workers, which grew at an annual rate of 5% in the fourth quarter, will continue rising until employers start matching offers to what job seekers want. 

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