Freddie Mac’s first quarterly forecast for 2022 cites the need for improvement in the nation’s employment picture. Even though the December report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the unemployment rate down 0.3 percentage points from the prior month at 3.9 percent, Freddie Mac’s economists say that job openings remain high at 10.6 million and nonfarm payrolls are 3.6 million lower than pre-COVID-19 levels.