Excerpted from Fox Business by Megan Henney

The number of job openings in the U.S. is starting to shrink again as a resurgence of the novel coronavirus — and business shutdowns — threatens to derail the nation’s gradual economic recovery from the pandemic.

Over the past two weeks, job openings have fallen by 5.5 percent, according to data published by Glassdoor, revealing a stalling rebound from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

“As the recovery loses steam, declining job openings point to a fragile labor market, where economic progress will be overwhelmingly determined by progress against the virus,” the report said.

Since early March, when COVID-19 first gained a foothold in the U.S., hiring has plummeted by 25 percent, with just 4.6 million positions available. Only 22 percent of employers have increased their hiring since June 22, while 35 percent have reduced it, the report found.

Job openings bottomed out in early June and appeared poised for a strong, so-called “V-shaped” recovery. But hopes for a rapid rebound have cooled amid a renewed threat of more layoffs as the U.S. battles a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Some states have hit pause on their plans to reopen, while others, including California, are reimposing restrictions they had previously lifted, like shuttering restaurants and bars. Workers at Levi’s, United Airlines, American Airlines and Wells Fargo learned this past week they were — or could be — laid off or furloughed soon.
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