As the U.S. emerges from the pandemic, restrictions are being lifted and consumer demand for goods and services is skyrocketing. To keep up with this demand, employers are scrambling to fill their open positions, with a near-record number of Job Openings being reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Despite this abundance of open job opportunities, unemployment still remains high. How high? While unemployment rates (5.8%, as of May 2021) have drastically decreased since peak pandemic levels (14.8% in April 2020), they are still quite higher than pre-COVID levels (3.5% in February 2020).
Though it may sound contradictive, there is also a severe Labor Shortage in the U.S. with employers finding it harder than ever to hire qualified candidates. On May 31st, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce confirmed this shortage, reporting that there were a record 8.1 million job openings in the U.S., but a significantly disproportionate number of available workers to fill them.