The US is experiencing a widespread worker shortage. Here’s why.

Originally published on vox.com

Retail and restaurant workers are more in demand than tech workers.

Hotel employees are in high demand these days.
 Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

It’s official: The US economy doesn’t have enough workers.

For nearly a year now, the number of open jobs each month has been higher than the number of people looking for work — the first time that’s happened since the Department of Labor began tracking job turnover two decades ago.

At the end of January, the US economy had 7.6 million unfilled jobs, but only 6.5 million people were looking for work, according to data released Friday by the US Department of Labor. This was the 11th straight month that the number of job openings was higher than the number of job seekers. And each month, the gap has grown.

Just look at the chart below. For two decades, there have been more available workers than available jobs. That changed last year.

St. Louis Federal Reserve

Employers have been complaining about a shortage of skilled workers in recent years, particularly workers with advanced degrees in STEM fields. Nearly ever industry now has a labor shortage, but here’s the twist: Employers are having a harder time filling blue-collar positions than professional positions that require a college education.

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ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
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