Index of Help Wanted On Line (HWOL) Ads
The chart above illustrates the magnitude of the difference between the unemployment rate and help wanted ads online, as measured by the Conference Board. There are millions of unfilled job openings being generated by increasing demand, yet many individuals remain out of the workforce. It will be difficult to bring the U.S. economy back to pre-COVID levels until the labor market returns to equilibrium. Until then, the supply of some goods and services may be limited.
U.S. Unemployment Rate
The U.S. labor market has improved dramatically from the levels seen during the onset of the initial COVID-19 shutdowns last spring. However, the rate of improvement has declined in 2021, as many workers elect to stay home due to concerns over child care, benefits, and exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. Help Wanted signs have become ubiquitous as businesses try to staff up.
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