Labor market shows signs of hiring uptick as coronavirus surge fades

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from The Washington Post,

Many Americans feel more comfortable returning to the workforce as child-care situation improves and worries about covid ease.

Jerry Akers, the owner of 36 hair salons in Iowa and Nebraska, had 70 open positions for more than six months. The company shrank during the pandemic, but as he tried to staff back up amid the reopening in the spring and summer, Akers had trouble finding enough people to work as the delta variant spiked.

But something changed over the last month. The number of applicants online picked up. And suddenly Great Clips was able to hire 10 people after months of struggling to find workers, bringing the number of its openings down significantly for the first time all year.

“You almost give up hope when it takes several months to do what you need to do,” Akers said. “But we are seeing some forward momentum. There seems to be a little more interest for people to start getting back to normal.”

The labor market has endured a couple of disappointing months, denting the country’s confidence after vaccine skepticism and the delta variant’s surge conspired to obliterate the optimistic projections for the late summer and fall.

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