Over 6.1 mln US job open­ings up for grabs

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Whether or not you are a fan of the eco­nomic poli­cies of to­day, one trend that has pre­vailed is that there are a record num­ber of job open­ings. Mil­lions and mil­lions of job open­ings. Many jobs are not even able to be filled.

Last week’s U.S. Depart­ment of Labour re­port on the em­ploy­ment sit­u­a­tion showed a mixed bag for the month of Au­gust. It was still strong, but re­vi­sions made the num­bers more mixed on a larger scale. Tues­day’s eco­nomic re­lease from the Labour Depart­ment’s Bu­reau of Labour Statis­tics (BLS) was the Job Open­ings and Labour Turnover Sur­vey, or what we call the JOLTS re­port, for the month of July. It turns out that there were 6.17 mln job open­ings at the end of July, and the June num­ber of 6.16 mln was re­vised to 6.116 mln.

Hir­ings were up 1.3% to 5.501 mln. The trans­la­tion here is that em­ploy­ers are hav­ing a hard time match­ing job ap­pli­cants with the skills re­quired for the job (skill gap), and there may al­ways be an is­sue that some work­ers who could fill the open po­si­tion either have bet­ter jobs al­ready or per­haps the em­ployer is not of­fer­ing enough pay to fill the po­si­tion.

Then there are other is­sues, such as hav­ing to care for oth­ers, or an open­ing in one re­gion not be­ing pos­si­ble for a worker in an­other ge­o­graphic area.

For there to be a good job mar­ket there have to be sep­a­ra­tions, and specif­i­cally there have to be work­ers will­ing to quit their job to pur­sue the same op­por­tu­nity or a bet­ter op­por­tu­nity else­where. The sep­a­ra­tions rate was 3.6% in July. Of this, the quits rate was 2.2% and the lay­offs rate was 1.2%.

As far as net changes in em­ploy­ment, the BLS re­port said: “Over the 12 months end­ing in July, hires to­taled 63.6 mil­lion and sep­a­ra­tions to­talled 61.5 mil­lion, yield­ing a net em­ploy­ment gain of 2.1 mil­lion. Th­ese to­tals in­clude work­ers who may have been hired and sep­a­rated more than once dur­ing the year.”

Job open­ings in­creased in a num­ber of in­dus­tries with the largest in­creases and de­creases seen as fol­lows: - other ser­vices (+111,000); - trans­porta­tion, ware­hous­ing, util­i­ties (+70,000); - ed­u­ca­tional ser­vices (+26,000); - health­care sec­tor and so­cial as­sis­tance (-72,000);

- state and lo­cal ed­u­ca­tion -46,000); and,

- fed­eral govern­ment (-21,000).

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