As many HR professionals probably do, I received a few communications from SHRM this week. These emails were sent with the headline of Breaking News and both discussed unemployment in two different ways.

One of the articles opened with “available jobs declined by 427,000 to 11.3 million in May, according to the monthly JOLTS report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).” (Maurer, 2022). It went on to talk about employee mobility and employers leaving their jobs. It also touched upon open jobs. “Job openings surged to record highs through 2021 and have since stabilized at levels nearly twice as high as the pre-pandemic norm. Yet the recovery in labor force participation has been much slower, leaving the labor market with a massive gap between supply and demand that’s persisted, pushing labor costs and wages higher. Job openings outnumbered unemployed workers by about 5.3 million in May.” (Maurer, 2022).

The second of the two articles opened with “states reported that 235,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending July 2, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits–1.3 million–is well below the pre-pandemic average of 1.7 million.” (Maurer, 2022).

Reading these two articles one day apart makes me question what more can be done. It reminds me of why I chose to start A People Partner in the first place. There is clearly a gap here that needs to be addressed. Even if we go so far as to say there is a labor shortage as the first article indicates, we could certainly fill 1.3 million more jobs if we hired the current unemployed population.

People could argue that maybe all the open jobs don’t fit the backgrounds of the individuals looking for work. Potentially that could be true. But I can’t imagine that it’s true for every job and every person. And I won’t entertain the argument that people don’t want to work because that’s not even credible.

So why is it that some of those 1.3 million unemployed individuals can’t fill some of the 11.3 million open jobs? The talent is out there. Now we need employers to rally together to fill their positions and hire the talent that is available in the market. Hire them, train them, upskill them, give them the tools for success, pay them appropriately, offer an inclusive culture and watch them soar! Both parties need each other to bridge the gap. Let’s make it happen!


Maurer, R. (2022, July 6). Job Openings, Quits Start to Fall. SHRM. Retrieved from:

Maurer, R. (2022, July 7). Unemployment Claims Edge Up Slightly. SHRM. Retrieved from: