Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Job market: More openings than jobless

Job market: More openings than jobless

"For the FIRST time since record-keeping began, the US has MORE job openings than unemployed workers" White House adviser Ivanka Trump said in a tweet Wednesday. "This year is the first time the level of the unemployed exceeded the jobs available since the BLS started tracking JOLTS numbers in 2000", writes CNBC.

When does the lack of workers begin to limit economic growth?

There are now more open jobs than there are unemployed people, a historically unusual development that should give workers more leverage to demand raises. In April, wages for job-switchers rose 4 per cent, on average. Unemployed people are classified as those who don't have jobs but have recently searched for one.

The sharpest increase in openings in April was in a category called professional and business services, which includes a range of occupations, from accountants, architects and engineers. As the chart shows, the quits rate for government employees averaged just 0.8% through April, which matches the highs of the previous expansion, and is up from a low 0.4% as of May 2009.

According to the report, over the 12 months ending in April, hires totaled 66.1 million and separations totaled 63.7 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.4 million.

Separate research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, released last month, shows that 14.5 per cent of people who remained in their jobs in early 2018 received no pay increase from a year earlier. More quitting is a positive sign, because it suggests workers are leaving jobs for new, possibly higher-paying, ones.

The new data signals a growing U.S. economy just months after President Trump signed the recently passed GOP tax cuts into law; unleashing American businesses and putting millions of dollars back into workers bank accounts.

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