Credit: Nattakorn/Adobe Stock Economists are hopeful that, if the virus is under control, labor supply will start to normalize later this year. (Photo: Nattakorn/Adobe Stock)

The mixed picture of the U.S. labor market that emerged in 2021 isn’t going anywhere this year.

While the unemployment rate has been falling for months, the labor force participation rate has barely budged. Wages are rising, but not enough to offset inflation. Job openings remain well above pre-pandemic levels and employers are struggling to find qualified workers. And the virus itself continues to disrupt child care arrangements and raise health concerns, keeping many Americans on the sidelines.

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