There are 1M more job openings than people seeking work

A complicated labor market has employers trying to "buy back job applicants' COVID lifestyle," CNBC reports. 

The U.S. Department of Labor identified about 8.7 million people seeking work in its latest jobs numbers, CNBC reports. At the same time, jobs board estimated 9.8 million job vacancies as of July 16, which was a few days after the department's timetable for its monthly numbers.

"This is one of the most complex labor markets in recent memory," Scott Hamilton, global managing director for the human resources and compensation consulting practice at Gallagher, told CNBC. "One of the biggest factors is employers are essentially having to buy back job applicants' COVID lifestyle."

In healthcare, health systems are vying for critical talent with five-figure signing bonuses that are as much as $30,000. The prevalence of the early incentive across industries is on the rise. Job posts advertising some type of hiring incentive have more than doubled since July 2020, and searches for terms such as "hiring bonus" also have doubled, according to an analysis from Indeed.

A few factors are likely driving labor churn and shortages in healthcare, including pandemic-fueled exhaustion, early retirements and people with financial cushions and in-demand skills opting to make career changes. These disruptions come in addition to projected shortages of nurses and physicians before the pandemic started. 

Healthcare gained nearly 37,000 jobs in July, with 18,300 of those among hospitals, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, employment in healthcare is down by 502,000 since February 2020. 


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