The hunt for workers in Ohio and Greater Columbus is showing no signs of slowing.
Employers statewide posted a record 315,216 openings online from Sept. 14 through Oct. 13, according to Ohio's jobs website, OhioMeansJobs.com.
OhioMeansJobs, which is free for employers and workers, aggregates postings for openings throughout the state. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services runs the website.
The statewide postings were an increase of 24,167 ads from the previous month and an increase of 68,978 ads from a year ago.
It is the first time the postings have topped 300,000 in data that goes back four years. The postings have been generally rising since the spring of 2020, not long after the pandemic began.
In central Ohio, postings totaled 70,624 jobs for the most recent period, up 7,632 ads from the previous reporting period and an increase of 20,812 ads from the same period a year ago.
The top postings statewide are for registered nurses followed by truck drivers and retail jobs. In Greater Columbus, the top openings are for software developers followed by truck drivers, other computer operations and then retail jobs.
Employers of all kinds have been begging for workers for months.
UPS, for example, said this week it needs another 500 workers in the Columbus area just to meet seasonal demand for the surge in packages for holiday delivery.
Many employers have complained that generous federal unemployment and other benefits have kept workers on the sideline.
Still, there are signs that the labor market is healing.
In Ohio, for example, claims for unemployment benefits are back to about where they were before the pandemic.
Over the last three weeks, fewer than 8,000 new claims for benefits have been filed each week, state jobs data show. There were 39,653 total new and continuing claims for the week ended last Saturday, the lowest in state records that go back to 1986.
Nationally, the unemployment rate hit 4.2% in November. That is a historically low jobless rate though still above the pre-pandemic level of 3.5%.
U.S. employers added just 210,000 jobs during the month, the lowest monthly gain in a year.
Overall, the November jobs figures point to a job market and an economic recovery that look resilient though under threat from a spike in inflation, shortages of workers and supplies and the potential impact of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Many people who lost jobs in the pandemic have not, for various reasons, returned to the workforce. But last month, more Americans came off the sidelines to look for jobs and were generally hired quickly.
The jobs outlook for the coming months has become hazier with the emergence of the omicron variant. Little is known about omicron, and widespread business shutdowns are considered unlikely. Still, omicron could discourage some Americans from traveling, shopping and eating out in the coming months and potentially slow the economy.
Nearly 600,000 people joined the workforce last month, increasing the proportion of Americans who are either working or looking for work. If that much-anticipated development continues, it could point to stronger job growth ahead.
There are now about 3.6 million fewer people with jobs than there were before the pandemic. Yet only about one-third of them are actively looking for work and are classified as unemployed. The remaining two-thirds are no longer job-hunting and so aren’t counted as unemployed. The government classifies people as unemployed only if they’re actively seeking work.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Nurses, truck drivers among jobs in highest demand in Ohio