The Labor Market's New Math Is Hard to Figure

An economic chill plus layoffs equals an easing job market. Right? Not necessarily

You might think that a slowing economy, some yearend layoffs in the insurance, auto, and retail industries, and a growing legion of refugees from failed or foundering dot-coms would finally make it easier for businesses to find employees. But labor-market math isn't that simple, according to some small businesses and the staffing agencies that find help for them.

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