December 2021 Jobs Report: Latest on the Labor Shortage

Posted: December, 20, 2021 | Categories: Job Market Updates


The Labor Shortage Continues

According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released December 8th, 2021), the number of job openings increased to 11 million at a rate of 6.9 percent on the last business day of October. The industries that saw the highest rate of job openings include accommodation and food services, nondurable goods manufacturing, and educational services.

In addition to new job openings, the end of October also saw less job separations with a total of 5.9 million at 4 percent. With this lowered separation rate, a 6.9 percent job opening growth rate, and a decrease in unemployment to 4.2 percent in November, we continue to see a growing labor shortage affecting many industries.


Pay Rates Continue to Increase

Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have continued to increase by 4.8 percent. In November of 2021, the average hourly earnings of private nonfarm payrolls increased to $31.03 per hour. The average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees specifically increased to $26.40 per hour as employers struggle to compete in the growing labor shortage.

In addition to pay rate increases, the average workweek for all employees also increased to 34.8 hours in November.


Professional and Business Services adds 90k Jobs

Professional and Business Services lead the job growth in November with roughly 90,000 new jobs added. Job gains continued in administrative and waste services with a total of 42,000 jobs added. Job growth also continued in management, technical consulting, computer system design, and related services. 

Other notable changes occurred in some industries as follows:

  • Temporary help services: 6,200 jobs added
  • Real Estate: 4,900 jobs added
  • Residential Building: 4,100 jobs added
  • Office Administrative Services: 42,400 jobs added
  • Business Support Services: 5,700 jobs added
  • Repair and Maintenance: 10,100 jobs added
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping: 7,600 jobs added



JWilliams Staffing is here to help your company navigate the workforce. We have a strong network of job seekers who are ready to work, and expert recruiters who carefully screen, train, and identify the cross-application of skillsets in candidates necessary to excel in their career. Learn more about our temporary and direct hire staffing services today!

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Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021a, December). JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – OCTOBER 2021

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021b, December). THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — NOVEMBER 2021

By JWilliams Staffing

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