Unemployed Individuals to Job Openings Lowest in Decades

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Wisconsin IDEA
Insight • Data • Economics • Analysis

Job Opportunities are Numerous for Wisconsin Workers

Preliminary estimates from December 2021 suggest there were 204,000 job openings and 86,000 unemployed individuals in the State of Wisconsin. When expressed as a ratio, the number of unemployed individuals per job opening was 0.42 (or almost 2.4 job openings for every unemployed individual). The December ratio is among the lowest value in decades and marks the twelfth consecutive month where Wisconsin posted more job openings than unemployed individuals.

While the pandemic caused a dramatic rise in this ratio, the April 2020 pandemic-related peak of 4.4 unemployed individuals per job opening declined rapidly and remained well below Great Recession-influenced values that exceeded 6.0 during some months in 2009. While the current ratio of unemployed workers per job opening is somewhat below those found in 2017, 2018, and 2019, the ratio during these years also remained below 1.0 and suggests that labor availability issues were rising before the onset of the pandemic.

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