Changing Workforce

Employers add jobs in December, but shortage of qualified labor a headache for some businesses

By Marketplace

Jan 05, 2018

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U.S. employers added 148,000 jobs in December, a modest gain but still enough to suggest that the economy entered the new year with solid momentum.

The unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent for a third straight month, the lowest level since 2000, the Labor Department said Friday.

Some businesses, though, are already howling that they can't find enough qualified people. There are roughly 6 million available jobs, near a record high, according to government data. “Firms may now be starting to look beyond the workers they usually look at, and might start loosening some of the qualifications they need for jobs, because the labor market is getting tighter," Jed Kolko, the chief economist at, told Marketplace.

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