WASHINGTON (9/10/15)--The number of job openings in the United States climbed to 5.8 million in July, up from roughly 5.3 million in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
Private-sector openings rose to 5.27 million at a rate of 4.2%, and overall job openings reached their highest point since the government began tracking the number in 2000 (Economy.com Sept. 9).
“The July JOLTS report points to a tightening labor market increasingly characterized by shortages (in skilled workers),” said Sophia Koropeckyj, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “Early in the year, the number of available jobs surpassed the number of workers hired and the gap has increased since.”
Employers hired nearly 5 million workers in July, falling short of the number of openings by 770,000.
Hiring tracked at its slowest pace since August 2014 and has hovered near 5 million over the last six months. Private sector hiring dropped to 4.65 million during July, with only leisure/hospitality recording an increase.
By region, hiring dipped in the Midwest, West, and South, and remained flat in the Northeast.
Despite improved job availability, the quit rate remained unchanged at 1.9% for the fourth straight month. The number of people who were laid off in July dropped by 10% to 1.6 million.
“The July JOLTS report suggests that the U.S. labor market is in good shape and that companies are expanding,” Koropeckyj said. “However, worker availability is tamping down employment growth. The increasing gap between openings and hires suggests that the heretofore elusive wage pressures should begin to build in coming quarters.”