US hir­ing reaches 6-month high in June

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

U. S. em­ploy­ers filled more of their avail­able jobs in June, ev­i­dence that steady if mod­est eco­nomic growth is putting more Amer­i­cans to work.

The U. S. La­bor Depart­ment said Wed­nes­day that to­tal hir­ing rose 2.3 per­cent to 5.18 mil­lion in June, the most in six months and sec­ond-high­est to­tal since the re­ces­sion ended in June 2009.

Em­ploy­ers posted fewer job open­ings, but that fig­ure has risen strongly in the past year. And more peo­ple quit their jobs, which is a good sign be­cause many peo­ple quit when they have new jobs lined up, typ­i­cally at higher pay. More hir­ing, quit­ting and healthy lev­els of job open­ings could pres­sure com­pa­nies to lift wages.

Hir­ing and quits “re­main at lev­els con­sis­tent with a pickup in wage growth over the medi­umterm,” said Jeremy Schwartz, an an­a­lyst at Credit Suisse. “In­deed, this is a key rea­son to be­lieve re­cent weak­ness in av­er­age hourly earn­ings ... may be tem­po­rary.”

Job gains have been strong for the past two years but slug­gish pay in­creases re­main a weak spot in the econ­omy.

Av­er­age hourly pay rose just 2.1 per­cent in July com­pared with a year ear­lier, the gov­ern­ment said last week. That is far be­low the 3.5 per­cent to 4 per­cent gains that usu­ally oc­cur in a healthy econ­omy.

The num­ber of avail­able jobs fell 2 per­cent in June to 5.25 mil­lion, down from a 15-year high of 5.36 mil­lion in May. Still, open­ings have soared 11 per­cent in the past year. The rise is a sign that com­pa­nies are con­fi­dent that de­mand for their goods and ser­vices will pick up and that they need more work­ers to meet that de­mand.

Yet hir­ing has in­creased at a slower pace, ris­ing just 7.4 per­cent in the past year. That has been a source of frus­tra­tion for many job­seek­ers, who are fac­ing in­creas­ingly long pe­ri­ods af­ter they ap­ply for jobs be­fore com­pa­nies make of­fers.

Ac­cord­ing to Glass­door, a jobs and re­cruit­ing web­site, the av­er­age length of time for an in­ter­view process to re­sult in a filled job in­creased from 12.6 days in 2010 to 22.9 days last year.

The in­creased use

of

back- ground checks, skills tests and more ex­ten­sive in­ter­views have com­bined to lengthen the hir­ing process, ac­cord­ing to Glass­door re­search re­leased in June. The in­crease in high-skill jobs in­volv­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy in re­cent years has also ex­tended in­ter­view times. Those jobs take longer to fill than lower-skill po­si­tions.

The pickup in hir­ing in June, how­ever, sug­gests that com­pa­nies may be fill­ing jobs a bit more quickly. A new Glass­door re­port re­leased Wed­nes­day found that even as hir­ing times have length­ened, job-seek­ers who land in­ter­views are more likely to re­ceive job of­fers. The re­port found that 68 per­cent of in­ter­views re­sulted in a job of­fer in 2014, up from 56 per­cent in 2009.

Sep­a­rately, the num­ber of Amer­i­cans quit­ting their jobs inched up 0.6 per­cent to 2.75 mil­lion. That is be­low the seven-year high of 2.78 mil­lion reached in Jan­uary.

The gov­ern­ment said in last week’s monthly em­ploy­ment re­port that em­ploy­ers added a solid 215,000 jobs in July. The un­em­ploy­ment rate was un­changed at 5.3 per­cent.

Those fig­ures are a net to­tal: Jobs gained mi­nus jobs lost. The data re­ported Wed­nes­day, in the Job Open­ings and La­bor Turnover sur­vey, are more de­tailed. They cal­cu­late to­tal hires, as well as quits and lay­offs. Wed­nes­day’s JOLTS data con­tain fig­ures for June, a month be­hind last week’s jobs re­port.

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