Many analysts have expressed enthusiasm about the labor market since the government reported last week that more job openings exist than ever before.
But hold on to your hat, says Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell. Why are there so many jobs openings? "Because many companies are acting like big teases," she writes.
"They say they want to hire, then drag their feet. In fact, the average time required to fill a job opening has also just reached an all-time high: 27.3 days." That's up about 50 percent over the past six years.
Steven Davis, an economist at the University of Chicago, offers two possible explanations for the long duration of vacancies.
"One is that innovations in the recruiting process, such as the use of LinkedIn, have made it easier for employers to locate workers who already have jobs and are not actively seeking new positions," Rampell writes.
Second, employment law has changed, Davis says. Some states have curbed companies' ability to dump workers at will, for example.
So what are the optimists' views? They say the acceleration of job gains over the last 18 months has proven to be a boon for American workers.
"Companies are scrambling to hold on to workers amid a tightening labor market and higher turnover, doling out bigger raises, expanding benefits and providing more training and other perks," writes Paul Davidson of USA Today.
"They're awakening to the fact that they're going to lose their people," Paul McDonald of job agency Robert Half told the paper. "We're seeing an increased investment in the employee."
He said 30 percent of his clients are offering raises to workers who plan to leave, up from 20 percent a year ago.
Worker compensation, including benefits, climbed 2.6 percent in the first quarter, the most since 2008.
Meanwhile, approximately one-third of companies are reinstating or raising bonuses, and 50 percent are increasing spending on training and development, according to a survey of CFOs by Robert Half's Accountemps unit.
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