May 9, 2018
Job seekers may be facing the best environment in which to find a job they will see in this cycle. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there’s roughly the same amount of openings as there are unemployed people.
The number of job openings increased roughly 8% to 6.6 million in March, the most on record since December 2000. There were also 6.59 million unemployed. That equal balance between hirings and separations is an unusual situation, given that typically there’s significantly more unemployed people than advertised openings. Often times the difference can be two times higher.
The tally of private sector job openings edged government jobs, with the largest increases coming in professional and business services (+112,000), construction (+68,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+37,000). The Northeast and Midwest regions were where the largest number of job openings increased.
Yet, the sharp jump in openings hasn’t translated into bigger increases in pay, as gains have remained below historical averages. That has some economists predicting employers will be forced to raise pay faster to attract and retain employees.
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