WASHINGTON — For the second month in a row, companies in the United States reported a record high number of available jobs, indicating that the economy is fast recovering and there is a high need for workers.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that the number of available positions on the final day of May increased slightly to 9.21 million, up from 9.19 million in April. Since records began in December 2000, this is the greatest total ever. The previously stated figure of 9.3 million for April has been lowered down.
The number of individuals quitting their employment fell in May after reaching a new high in April, although it remains high. In May, the percentage of workers laid off reached a new low, according to the study.
The data indicate a tight labor market, with companies being compelled to pay higher wages to entice workers but yet failing to fill available positions. Moreover, many employees are leaving their current employment in search of higher-paying opportunities at other firms. It’s rare for such dynamics to have emerged while the jobless rate remained at 5.9% in June, according to official data released last week.
In May, there was around one available job for every jobless American, which is considerably more typical of an economy with a lower unemployment rate.
However, COVID-19’s lasting consequences are keeping many potential workers on the sidelines. Many unemployed people are concerned about contracting the disease in big groups, while many elderly Americans have retired early. Furthermore, an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits has enabled Americans to seek higher-paying opportunities rather than returning to lower-paying occupations.
Job opportunities appear to have bottomed out, according to Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, with total posts increasing by more than 10% in March and April but hardly increasing in May.
In a message to customers, she stated, “There are positions… and there is an urgent need to fill them.”
Employers have increased hiring, partly as a result of better compensation. According to the statistics, employment growth stepped up in June, with businesses adding 850,000 new positions, the biggest monthly rise since August. The unemployment rate increased to 5.9% from 5.8%, owing in part to the fact that some people began seeking jobs that month.