For Immediate Release: June 5, 2018
Contact: Karen Conner, 202-293-5380 x117, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Washington, D.C. - Economic indicators are the tea leaves economists read to explain what’s happening in the economy, and why. But, there is a new puzzle developing from a typically straightforward indicator: the ratio of job openings-to-hires in the leisure and hospitality sector, according to a new analysis by Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

As Baker writes in today’s CEPR Blog, that the data mean either “restaurant work requires much more skill than is generally realized, or that the job openings-to-hires ratio means something different than it did two decades ago.”

In a previous analysis, Baker pointed out that, “…the rise in job openings relative to hires was sharper in retail trade and restaurants than in the economy as a whole. This doesn't fit well with the lack of qualified workers story unless the skills required to get a job in these sectors are much higher than is generally believed.”