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Number of U.S. job openings spike with workers quitting in masses

Number of U.S. job openings spike with workers quitting in masses
Jordan Major

According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS), job openings in the United States have soared to record highs in April.

The search has begun for staff ahead of what on all accounts seems to be a busy summer on the horizon, with more people looking to get out and about spending money as Covid vaccines continue to roll out. The number of vacancies reached 9.3 million on the last business day of April, increasing from 8.3 million at the end of March. 

Businesses are struggling to fill these open positions as people continue to leave their existing jobs in record numbers. 

The hospitality industry, in particular, is affected as they work to occupy unfilled positions. The reason for this pattern is the COVID-19 recession is centered primarily in the services sector, which has been hit hardest during the pandemic and accounts for many of the low-wage jobs. 

The figures

Based on Tuesday’s JOLTS report, almost 4 million Americans quit their jobs in April.

The figures suggest a high level of optimism amongst the population of finding another, possibly better-paid job role somewhere else. However, during the pandemic, the public has pondered over their positions and utilized their free time to scour the market. 

Number of job openings, quits and layoffs in the U.S. Statista

Meanwhile, the number of redundancies and dismissals also reached series lows. Overall, the figures show 6.1 million hirings stood opposite 5.8 million separations (incl. quits and layoffs) in April.

Labor market recovery

Thus, an employment change of 300,000 brings the total employment gain to 11.3 million over the past twelve months, although we must factor in that this total includes workers who may have been hired or fired multiple times during that period.

Many job vacancies do indicate that the labor market is recovering from its historical downturn, despite the positive recovery signs, Covid 19 at least in the medium term will cause issues that will require labor market adjustments.

The long-term outlook will be dependent on global and domestic conditions- including the containment of the pandemic internationally, the impact on global trading patterns, and the success of the vaccination strategy.

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