Labor Market Explodes with Millions of Job Openings
Findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that US job openings soared by nearly one million! That’s the highest-level number overall since the bureau started tracking data over twenty years ago. In addition, there are several hot job markets that are hiring, which you can read more about here.
Economists had originally predicted 8.3 million new jobs to be on the market –instead, that number grew to 9.3 million. That said, with demand for workers being high due to the easing of COVID restrictions, it looks like it’s going to be a busy summer. That’s the good news! On the flipside, despite the surge in job openings, U.S. employers hired roughly 6.1 million people this past April. That’s a slight uptick from the previous month, leaving millions of jobs unfilled.
Employers in the food and hospitality industry added the most open positions at nearly 350,000, while job openings fell sharply in educational services and healthcare.
So, even with job openings at an all-time high, why are many jobs unfilled? The answer is a bit complex. It’s likely due to a combination of factors. Millions of Americans remain unemployed as they continue to balance work and home life, along with concerns of contracting COVID. That, coupled with boosted unemployment benefits, which lasts until early September, has led many economists to believe these factors are keeping some people at home – causing a worker shortage.
Retaining and Attracting Talent
A major focus for many businesses is holding on to key players within their workforce. Companies have been getting creative in order to not only retain valuable employees but also to fill open roles and attract the right talent. Companies across all industries are raising minimum salaries to do just that. In addition, some stats show many workers switching careers altogether and declining to return to their specific job sector. The trend of employees leaving jobs for better-paying roles elsewhere has also risen in this hot job market. As a result, separations rose to 5.8 million, and the “quit rate” rose to 2.7%, or 4 million, while layoffs fell to roughly 1%.