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The October jobs report contained good news for people looking for work: the nation added 531,000 jobs. At the same time, the unemployment rate ticked down 0.2 percentage point to 4.6% — continuing the steady drop from when the unemployment rate stood at 6.3% in January.
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The increase in jobs occurred across the spectrum: leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing and professional and business services. The jobs growth in October showed improvement over the September numbers, when just 194,000 jobs were added, far below the forecast of 500,000. But do the relatively rosy employment numbers mean the U.S. economy is over the coronavirus-related hump? President Joe Biden thinks so.
“Another great day for our recovery: America’s getting back to work,” President Biden told reporters on Nov. 5, the day the report was released. “Our economy is starting to work for more Americans thanks to the economic plan we put through in Congress earlier this year. And a successful vaccine deployment.”
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True — the U.S. has come a full 180 degrees from 18 months ago when the shutting down of retailers, restaurants and businesses to stop the spread of the virus put millions of people out of work. But the country may not be quite back to pre-pandemic levels. The economy is generating more jobs, yes, but there isn’t a worker to fill every opening.
“For workers across all industries, they are finding it a great time to look. The great disparity in supply and demand has created a job market heavily in favor of the worker and many workers are taking advantage of these favorable conditions — almost 3% (4.3 million) of the entire workforce quit their jobs in August,” said Harley Lippman, the founder and CEO of Genesis 10, a leading IT talent recruiter. “Many workers are looking for a new job, a career transition or seeking out jobs that offer greater work/life balance or flexibility.”
The fact that demand for workers across almost all sectors is greater than the supply of people looking for those jobs means economic recovery can’t go into full swing. And it’s got businesses scrambling.
“The disparity between supply and demand is so great that companies have taken a historically aggressive approach to expanding their recruiting organization,” he said. “For example, there are many large employers looking to each hire 500 to 1,000-plus recruiters in Q3 and Q4. In addition. the national demand for recruiters is up …….