Job openings in United States jump to record 6.55mn in March

JOLTS Spike Wage Growth and Inflation Ahead

JOLTS Spike Wage Growth and Inflation Ahead

The ratio peaked at 6.6 unemployed people per job opening in July 2009 and has been falling steadily ever since.

March's job openings were the highest since the data series started in December 2000 and pushed the job openings rate up three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.2 per cent. That compares with the 6.585 million unemployed workers in March - just 35,000 more than the number of available positions. That's left more jobs unfilled. But hiring fell to 5.4 million from 5.5 million in February, suggesting a skills mismatch.

Nick Bunker, an analyst at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, says he thinks the record-high number of job openings in part stems from weak wage gains.

There were 112,000 additional vacancies in the professional and business services industries.

There's a job vacancy waiting to be filled for every unemployed American - nearly.




In March, job openings were concentrated in the Midwest and Northeast regions.

Typically, as unemployment falls, employers advertise fewer job openings because it tends to cost them more to recruit and pay new employees. It suggests that workers feel sufficiently confident in job-market opportunities out there that they're willing to leave their work.

Yet a separate measure of average hourly pay increased just 2.6 percent in April from a year earlier, even as the unemployment rate dropped to a 17-year low of 3.9 percent.

"Quits are also a source of upward pressure on wages", said Sarah House, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina. More Americans than in the past are staying in their jobs rather than switching to new ones for higher pay. That should be pushing up wages, yet paychecks are growing at only a modest pace. In March 2018, it fell to 1.

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