The 8 million jobs openings, hype vs. reality

Over the past week there has been endless teeth-gnashing by the financial media and political hacks about ‘8 million unfilled jobs’ or ‘businesses being unable to fill jobs’, as if this is a crisis or abnormal.

The common narrative is that stimulus spending or laziness is to blame for unfilled jobs, instead of another major and obvious reason, which is that the number of unfilled jobs rises as the economy expands:

This is expected. The number of openings always peaks before recessions, like in 2001, 2007, or 2020.

Even during boom times, businesses cannot fill all of their openings. Having all job positions be filled is impossible and undesirable, as it would be indicative of stagnation. This is not to defend Biden from criticism either, because had Trump been reelected there would still probably be the same number of openings, and Trump also signed off the same type stimulus programs that Biden did (it was the Trump administration that pioneered such payments). Levin and other losers are blaming Biden for the same policy that Trump himself implemented.

Before Covid, there were 7.5 million openings yet no one was complaining about unfilled jobs. The sudden loss of jobs during the pandemic, combined with the reopenings due to the vaccines, has led to an acute shortage. An expanding economy , counterintuitively, has more openings, whereas during recessions the number of openings shrinks.