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Job Openings Rise to Record 6.7M, Exceeding Number of Unemployed

Job Openings Rise to Record 6.7M, Exceeding Number of Unemployed

By    |   Tuesday, 05 June 2018 10:26 AM

U.S. job openings unexpectedly rose to a fresh record in April, with vacancies increasingly exceeding the number of unemployed workers amid a robust labor market, Labor Department data showed Tuesday.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased to a seasonally adjusted 6.7 million from 6.6 million in March, the Labor Department said on Tuesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS.

That was the highest level since the government started tracking the series in December 2000. The number of hires rose to 5.6 million in April from 5.5 million in the prior month.

Steady economic growth has encouraged employers to step up hiring. That pushed the unemployment rate in May to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent.

There are now more open jobs than there are unemployed people, a historically unusual development that should give workers more leverage to demand raises.

The number of people quitting their jobs slipped just 1 percent from a record high in March. More quitting suggests workers are easily able to get new jobs.

The labor market is viewed as being either near or at full employment, with the jobless rate at an 18-year low of 3.8 percent.

Highlights of Job Openings (April)

  • Number of  positions waiting to be filled increased by 65k to 6.698m (est. 6.35m) from a revised 6.633m in March., acc. to Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey or JOLTS
  • Hiring rose to 5.578m from 5.486m; hiring rate rose to 3.8% from 3.7% 3.351m
  • Americans quit their jobs, down from 3.387m;  quits rate unchanged at 2.3%
  • Layoffs rose to 1.71m, three-month high, from 1.547m

Key Takeaways

The gains reinforce the view that the economy is creating jobs at a pace that can absorb any remaining labor-market slack. The report follows data released last week that showed payrolls increased more than forecast in May, the unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, matching April 2000 as the lowest since 1969, and wages also picked up.

March’s upward revision made it the first time in data back to 2000 that vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed, a gap of 48,000. That difference grew to 352,000 in April and is poised to keep widening, as the number of unemployed dropped further in May, to 6.07 million.

Although it lags the Labor Department’s other jobs data by a month, the JOLTS report adds context to monthly payrolls figures by measuring dynamics such as resignations, help-wanted ads and the pace of hiring.

The rise in openings in April was broad-based, led by professional and business services, the JOLTS report showed. Other gainers included manufacturing, trade and transportation, and leisure and hospitality.

Other Details

  • There was 0.9 unemployed person per job opening, compared with 1.9 people when the last recession began at the end of 2007
  • In the 12 months through April, the economy created a net 2.4 million jobs, representing 66.1 million hires and 63.7 million separations.

(Newsmax wire services Bloomberg, the Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report).

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U.S. businesses posted the most job openings on record in April for the second straight month, underscoring the economy’s strong demand for workers.
job, openings, jolts, labor, demand, workers
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 10:26 AM
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