Job openings rose in December amid worker shortages

Jan 31, 2022, 5:33 PM | Updated: Feb 1, 2022, 7:58 am
FILE - Prospective employers and job seekers interact during during a job fair on Sept. 22, 2021, i...

FILE - Prospective employers and job seekers interact during during a job fair on Sept. 22, 2021, in the West Hollywood section of Los Angeles. California's unemployment rate dipped a half-percentage point in December as the most populous state added 50,700 nonfarm jobs, accounting for more than a quarter of the nation's 199,000 job growth for the month, according to new data released Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers stepped up their search for workers in December despite the looming impact of the omicron wave of coronavirus infections.

The number of posted jobs rose 1.4% to 10.9 million on the last day of December, compared with the previous month, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That is far higher than pre-pandemic levels, though just below the record number of 11.1 million that was reached in July.

The data suggests companies were still desperate to hire workers last month yet had trouble finding enough people to fill their open jobs. A measure of hiring actually fell in December, according to Tuesday’s report. There were approximately 1.6 available jobs for every person actively seeking work that month.

Even so, most economists expect that job gains likely took a hit in January, as the omicron wave sickened millions of people, forcing them to stay home and isolate or care for people who were sick. Fewer people likely sought work out of fear of the virus, executives at some staffing agencies said.

Economists are projecting that businesses and other employers added just 165,000 jobs in January, according to data provider FactSet. That would be the fewest since December 2020. Some economists, however, expect that the economy shed jobs in January because so many Americans were likely forced to stay home due to illness, and some were probably counted as unemployed. Still, hiring is likely to bounce back in February as omicron fades and Americans resume traveling and eating out, and more people are able to take jobs.

About 4.3 million people quit their jobs in December, the government’s Tuesday report said, down from a record of 4.5 million in November. Still, far more Americans are leaving their jobs than before the pandemic, a positive sign because most people who quit do so for a better-paying job.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, center, speaks during a commission on Russia's ...
Associated Press

EU lawmakers condemn Myanmar’s crackdown on media freedom

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU lawmakers on Thursday condemned the crackdown on media freedom in military-ruled Myanmar and called for the release of “every unfairly detained journalist.” Since the military seized power in February last year, it has forced at least 12 media outlets to shut down and arrested about 142 journalists, 57 of whom remain […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

11 turkey farm workers charged with cruelty caught on video

Eleven people working for one of the nation’s leading turkey producers have been charged with animal cruelty in Pennsylvania after state police said they were caught on video kicking, stomping and beating turkeys at several farms. The workers were responsible for capturing and crating turkeys destined for slaughter, Pennsylvania State Police said Thursday. They launched […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Floods strand thousands, kill 7 in northcentral Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Thousands of travelers remained stranded in Nigeria’s northcentral Kogi state after major connecting roads to other parts of the West African nation were submerged amid the country’s worst flooding in a decade, locals and authorities said Thursday. The floods also killed seven people whose homes were swept away in the state’s […]
1 day ago
Hiring sign is displayed in Deerfield, Ill., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. The number of Americans fil...
Associated Press

US applications for jobless benefits increased last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, but the labor market remains strong even in the face of persistent inflation and a slowing overall U.S. economy. Jobless claims for the week ending Oct. 1 rose by 29,000 to 219,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Last week’s number was revised down by […]
1 day ago
FILE - Cherelle Griner, wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, speaks during a news conference in Chica...
Associated Press

Brittney Griner at ‘weakest moment’ in Russia, her wife says

WASHINGTON (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner is at her “absolute weakest moment in life right now” as she faces a hearing in Russia later this month for her appeal of a nine-year prison sentence for drug possession, Griner’s wife said in an interview aired Thursday. Cherelle Griner told CBS “This Morning” that her wife, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Turkey appoints new ambassador to Israel as ties warm

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey has appointed a new ambassador to Israel, the state-run news agency reported Thursday, in the latest step between the two countries’ efforts toward normalizing ties. Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, a senior diplomat who had served as Turkey’s consul general in Jerusalem between 2010 and 2013, was named to the post, Anadolu […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Job openings rose in December amid worker shortages