Job openings are elevated, but layoffs continue in the labor market. Is that a sign that Americans don’t have the qualifications employers are looking for in a changing market? Bryan Mena reports on the labor market, writing in The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. job openings remained elevated at the end of last year, but layoffs ticked up in a slowly cooling labor market.
A seasonally adjusted 11 million jobs were available in December compared with a downwardly revised 10.4 million the prior month, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
Job openings are down from a peak of 11.9 million last March, but they are still historically high and exceed December’s 5.7 million unemployed workers looking for work by a ratio of nearly two to one. Jobs site Indeed estimated there were 10.1 million job openings in mid-January.
Layoffs increased to a seasonally adjusted 1.5 million in December from 1.4 million the prior month, the Labor Department said. Though still below prepandemic levels, December layoffs were more than 15% higher than in the same month a year earlier, when there were 1.3 million layoffs. December layoffs were driven by job cuts in infrastructure, business services and hospitality industries.
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