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As headlines in The New York Times and other major news media tout increases in the number of employed non-farm workers, a deeper dive reflects that the labor force participation rate in June was 62.6% for the fourth consecutive month, and the employment-population ratio was 60.3%, unchanged from May. These measures remain below their pre-pandemic February 2020 levels based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports, U.S. businesses are “facing unprecedented challenges trying to find enough workers to fill open jobs.” As of the end of May 2023, there were 9.8 million job openings in the United States, with .6 unemployed individuals per job opening, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
What is contributing to this shortage, which areas are most impacted, and what does this bode for the future of work?
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