The latest job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that there were 6.638 million job openings in America in May (lagged release). That was a slightly larger decline than expected from the all-time high hit in April but likely related to total hires rising to the best level in more than 17 years. Most of the new vacancies in May were found in the federal government (+12,000) and mining and logging (+10,000) sectors, while job openings fell in the information (-60,000) and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-27,000) arenas.
Elsewhere in the report, the number of unemployed Americans per job opening fell to 0.88 in May, a record low that implies there are now more vacant positions in this country than there are adults looking for work. Further, the quits rate jumped to a nearly two-decade high in May, and the ratio of quits to layoffs and discharges climbed to a new record. Altogether this report provides more evidence of a tight labor market that is enabling U.S. workers to give up their current job security for better employment opportunities. Such an environment means that finding talent is likely to only get harder, especially for the firms that cannot offer competitive pay and benefits.
Sources: Econoday, U.S. DoL, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch