Seeking help: U.S. job vacancies hit a record high | Business and Economic News

Job vacancies are at a record high, and one-third of companies have difficulty finding skilled talent.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said on Tuesday that the number of job vacancies in the United States in April hit a record high, reaching 9.3 million, because millions of people dormant with the new crown virus released pent-up demand, and companies stepped up their operations. it.

According to the latest job vacancies and labor mobility survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, vacancies in multiple industries, including accommodation and food services, increased by 349,000 positions in April.

The findings of the survey conflict with the latest monthly employment report released last week, which shows that the economy is still struggling to escape the damage from the coronavirus lockdown and restrictions.

The country’s unemployment rate in May was 5.8%, with 9.3 million unemployed workers. In comparison, the unemployment rate in February 2020 (just before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic) was 3.5%, when about 5.7 million workers were unemployed.

“The labor market is on the right track, but there are still millions of workers who have not yet been absorbed by the economic recovery,” Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Institute of Economic Policy, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The disconnect between unemployed Americans and record high-level job openings has sparked debate among economists about the cause of the disconnect.

Some Republicans blamed the $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit on the motivation of the unemployed to find a job.

Dozens of states led by Republican governors have announced plans to withdraw from the federal unemployment benefit program, which includes weekly subsidies.

But many economists believe that there are other factors at play.

Someone pointed out that with millions of companies reopening and expanding operations at the same time, bottlenecks are forming. The lack of childcare services for working parents, older workers who choose to retire early, and the fear of contracting COVID-19 are also thought to keep the unemployed on the sidelines.

Job applicant in the driver’s seat

With so many jobs begging, the influence of workers on potential employers is greater than in recent years. Many of them are looking for greater flexibility and more competitive salaries.

In May, the average hourly wage of employees in the private sector increased by 15 cents to $30.33. This boost comes after an increase of 21 cents in April.

In the coming months, this powerful bargaining position may become stronger.

The latest quarterly employment outlook survey conducted by the labor solutions company ManpowerGroup found that more than 7,300 US employers reported their most optimistic hiring prospects since 2000. But one-third of companies are struggling to find technical talent.

“Parenting challenges, health issues and competition mean that demand exceeds supply, which is inhibiting the’big rewards’ for the American workforce,” ManpowerGroup North America President Becky Frankevich said in a statement. “This is a worker’s market, and employees are like consumers at work-seeking flexibility, competitive salaries, and quick decision-making.”

Employers who fail to adapt to newly authorized job applicants are risky to do so.

According to the latest JOLTS report, in April, the number of Americans who voluntarily say sayon??ara to their jobs — what economists call the resignation rate — reached a record 4 million.

Companies are also more inclined to retain the workers they own. The number and rate of layoffs and discharges in April remained almost unchanged, at 1.4 million and 1.0%, respectively.

“The high turnover rate means that employees feel comfortable leaving work in order to find a better match,” Gould said. “Low layoffs are obviously a good thing. The economic recovery is gaining momentum.”

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