Job openings hit a record while one in three companies struggled to find qualified talent.
The number of job openings in the United States hit a record 9.3 million in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said Tuesday, while millions escaped from hibernation of coronavirus they trigger busy demand and companies increase operations to meet it.
Job openings have increased in several April sectors, including housing and food services, which saw 349,000 additional jobs added, according to the latest job opening and job turnover surveys. and BLS (JOLTS).
The results clash with the latest monthly work report released last week, which revealed an economy that is still trying to shake off the damage of coronavirus blockages and restrictions.
The nation’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in May and there were 9.3 million unemployed workers. This compares to 3.5 percent unemployment in February 2020 – just before the coronavirus pandemic hit – when about 5.7 million workers were out of work.
“The job market is on the right track, but there are still millions of workers who will be absorbed in the economic recovery,” wrote Elise Gould, senior economist at the Institute for Economic Policy in a post Tuesday. .
The disconnect between unemployed Americans and record-breaking job openings has generated debates among economists as to what is driving the disconnect.
Today’s JOLTS report also finds a series high dropout rate of 2.7% while layoffs are now a series low of 1.0%. High pay means workers feel comfortable leaving their job in search of better jobs. Low layoffs are an obvious good. The economic recovery is gaining momentum.
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– Elise Gould (@eliselgould) June 8, 2021
Some Republicans accuse the weekly federal reward of $ 300 in state unemployment benefits for discouraging the unemployed from finding jobs.
Dozens of states led by Republican governors have announced plans to withdraw from federal unemployment benefit programs, which include weekly recharging.
But many economists believe there are other factors at play.
Some point to bottlenecks forming when millions of companies reopen and expand operations at once. A lack of childcare options for working parents, older workers opting for early retirement and the fear of contracting COVID-19 are also believed to keep the unemployed by their side.
Job seekers in the driver’s seat
With so many jobs begging, workers have more influence over potential employers than they have had in recent years. Many of them are looking for greater flexibility and a more competitive pay.
The average earnings per hour for employees on private salaries increased from 15 cents in May to $ 30.33. This boost followed an increase of 21 cents in April.
And this strong trading position could become stronger in the coming months.
The latest quarterly employment outlook survey conducted by the workforce solutions company ManpowerGroup found that more than 7,300 U.S. employers reported their most optimistic employment outlook since 2000. But one in three companies struggled. to find qualified talent.
“The challenges of child care, health issues and competition mean that demand always exceeds supply which makes the‘ great return ’of the American workforce disappear,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup for North America. “It’s a market of workers and employees acting as consumers rather than consuming work – they look for flexibility, competitive pay and quick decisions.”
Employers who fail to adapt to newly qualified job hunters face danger.
The number of Americans saying sayonara to their jobs voluntarily – what economists call the quit rate – hit a record four million in April, according to the latest JOLTS report.
Companies are even more willing to apply to the workers they have. The number and rate of layoffs and layoffs in April were little changed, at 1.4 million and 1.0 percent, respectively.
“High dropout means workers feel comfortable leaving their jobs in search of better jobs,” Gould said. “Low layoffs are a clear asset. The economic recovery is gaining momentum. ”