Jun 6, 2018 (BE2C2) — For the first time in 20 years, there are more job openings in the United States than there are job seekers, the Department of Labor said.
The department said Tuesday job openings in April reached a record high of 6.7 million as compared to December 2017 figure of 5.996 million which increased to 6.55 million in May.
Openings in April increased the most in durable goods manufacturing and information — while jobs in finance and insurance decreased as compared to March. JLL Research report released in May said shortages of professional, education, health and leisure employees are pushing openings rates past 5% on overall basis.
“For the FIRST time since record-keeping began, the U.S. has MORE job openings than unemployed workers” White House adviser Ivanka Trump said in a tweet Wednesday. “Wages are rising and people are being drawn back in to the workforce from the sidelines.”
So why “Total Jobs Available” has exceeded the “Total Jobs Wanted” figure? A reason for the gap or the shortfall could be location and wages, as open jobs and seekers may not be in the same place. Available laborers may also not have the skills certain employers are looking for.
Hourly earnings have also been slow to grow — rising just 2.7 percent in May, up one-tenth of a point from April. According to JLL Research, outside of finance (5.6%), information (3.3%) and construction (3.2%), the rate of wage growth in most industries isn’t accelerating.
“Given these trends, the sluggish wage growth rate is even more perplexing,” Cathy Barrera, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, told USA Today. “If employers want to fill these 6.7 million job openings, they are either going to have to raise wages or find more clever and creative ways to recruit workers off the sidelines.”
In May, the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs and the unemployment rate matched its lowest level in a half-century.