At the end of April, 2018 there were 6.7 million job openings in the United States. At the same time, the Labor Department reported that 6.3 million Americans were unemployed. It’s the first time on record that there have been more job openings than unemployed workers (data available since 2000).
This is a remarkable turnaround. In 2010, coming out of the last recession, there were more than 15 million unemployed and only about 3 million job openings.
These numbers are the latest sign of an extremely tight labor market. The official unemployment rate is at 3.8 percent. The last time it was lower was in 1969. That figure was artificially low due to the fact that young men were being drafted for the war in Vietnam.
The tight labor market is having a variety of economic impacts. Twenty-three percent (23 percent) of small business owners say finding qualified workers is their biggest problem. Additionally, it has led to pay increases and other benefits for workers. After raising the base pay for all workers earlier in the year, Walmart recently offered college tuition benefits for its 1.4 million U.S. employees.
- The Wall Street Journal, "American Job Openings Now Outnumber the Jobless," June 5, 2018
Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.
Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.
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