Navigating the Difficulty of Hiring Essential Workers in 2021

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Something very strange is happening in the U.S. job market. Despite a clear boost in post-pandemic job growth (payrolls increased by 916,000 in March 2021), and in April 2021 a record high of nine million job openings in the U.S., businesses in essential worker sectors — fulfillment and distribution, logistics, healthcare, restaurants, groceries, manufacturing, customer services and financial services — are struggling to find people.

According to a March 2021 survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 91% of respondents reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they needed to fill.

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