In U.S. Unemployed Far Outnumber Job Openings In Every Sector

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Slack demand for American workers seems to be at the root of lack of new job openings in the United States and not a purported “skills gap,” a new economic analysis shows..

This low demand for demand for American workers is somewhat conspicuous in light of what appears to be an economic recovery. As many large American corporations report record profits — some after having be bailed out by the government — are producing relatively few new job openings. Some companies, such as Apple, are sitting on millions in cash that could otherwise be used to create new jobs and businesses.

The lack of demand for new workers seems to cross all sectors of business and even all levels of education, according to the study by the Economic Policy Institute.

Unemployed Far Outnumber Job Openings

By HEIDI SHIERHOLZ, Economic Policy Institute— The figure below shows the number of unemployed workers and the number of job openings by sector.

Unemployed workers far outnumber job openings in every sector, underscoring the fact that the main cause of today’s persistent high unemployment is a broad-based lack of demand for workers — and not, as is often claimed, available workers lacking the skills needed for the sectors with job opening

Construction is the sector with the most unemployed workers for every available job, while manufacturing has the second-most number of unemployed workers for every available job, belying recent claims of worker shortages in construction and manufacturing

The education and health services sector has the most favorable ratio of unemployed to job openings, but even it has more than 80% more unemployed workers than job openings.

These data show that the main problem in today’s labor market is not a lack of the right workers for the jobs that are available; it’s that employers do not have enough work to be done to need to hire more workers.

No job openings

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