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U.S. Job Postings End 2020 Well Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

The number of help-wanted ads increased more slowly in December, evidence the labor market is losing momentum amid rising coronavirus cases.

Available jobs posted online were down 10.6% at the end of December from a year earlier, according to job-search site Indeed’s measure of job posting trends. Postings rose from the end of November, when the number of available jobs were 11.8% below 2019’s trend, but the pace of improvement has eased since the summer, when businesses started to reopen after spring lockdowns. Indeed measures postings by comparing the recent rate of growth to that of a year earlier.

January is normally a strong month for job openings, but this year may be different, said Nick Bunker, economist at Indeed. Economists note employers offering in-person services, such as restaurants and hair salons, are facing renewed restrictions and weaker demand.

Further, some employers in higher-wage sectors such as software development and finance are holding back on posting new jobs due to an uncertain outlook, Mr. Bunker said.

“They are still thinking about what’s going to happen in the medium term or long term for economic growth,” he said.

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