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Why are so many jobs going unfilled and what happened to all those who quit?

Washington Post economic correspondent Heather Long has answers

  • Scott LaMar
A customer wears a face mask as they carry their order past a now hiring sign at an eatery in Richardson, Texas.  On Thursday, Nov. 5, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to 751,000, a still-historically high level that shows that many employers keep cutting jobs in the face of the accelerating pandemic.

LM Otero / AP Photo

A customer wears a face mask as they carry their order past a now hiring sign at an eatery in Richardson, Texas. On Thursday, Nov. 5, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to 751,000, a still-historically high level that shows that many employers keep cutting jobs in the face of the accelerating pandemic.

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Airdate: Monday, December 20, 2021

There have been several explanations or narratives about why millions of jobs are going unfilled. There are about four million more job openings than unemployed people in the U.S. right now. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, there are 11 million job openings and almost 6.9 million unemployed.

At the same time, millions of American workers quit their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic looking for higher pay, better working conditions or careers in which they’d be happier. What happened to them all?

Why does there seem to be a disconnect between employers and would-be employees?

Washington Post economics correspondent Heather Long is on Monday’s Smart Talk with some answers.

Monday’s program is part of WITF’s Careers That Work project,an ongoing, evolving multimedia initiative highlighting workforce development in south central Pennsylvania. It is supported by Tech Link South Central PA Consortium for Career and Technical Education. Learn more at witf.org/careersthatwork.

 

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