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St.  Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A new report from the state confirms the obvious when it comes to job openings.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says job openings in the state "soared to a record high for the second quarter of 2021." The report found the demand for workers greatly outpaced hiring as employers reported more than 205,000 vacancies with the economy continuing to recover from the pandemic recession.

When compared to the second quarter of 2020, job vacancies were up 84 percent. The increase was about 40 percent when compared to the second quarter of pre-pandemic 2019. At the same time, the number of unemployed workers declined nearly 60 percent from the second quarter of last year and was about 33 percent higher than the total from the same three-month period in 2019.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Overall, those statistics translate into a rate of .6 unemployed persons for every job vacancy. The state agency the situation has worsened from workers dropping out of the labor force due to COVID concerns or other "pandemic-related pressures."

Another confirmation of the obvious in the report is the listing of food preparation and serving workers as the most in-demand type of employee with more than 35,000 job openings. There were more than 26,500 vacancies for retail-related jobs and 17,000 openings for healthcare support workers.

The high demand for workers is driving up wages. State officials say the median wage offer rose 4.3 percent from a year ago. Some of the largest increases involved lower-paying occupations. The report shows median wage offers for building and grounds cleaning and maintenance employees jumped more than 20 percent. The median starting wage for food prep and serving workers increased 7.2 percent.

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