US jobs outnumber jobless for first time in 20 years

08 June, 2018, 06:55 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics

USA businesses posted the most job openings on record in April for the second straight month, underscoring the economy's strong demand for workers.

A man carrying a stack of job listings listens to a discussion at the One Stop employment center in San Francisco, California, August 12, 2009.

Tuesday's release of the April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey confirmed that in the private sector, the take-this-job-and-shove-it crowd were alive and flourishing.

For the first time in 20 years, there are more job openings in the United States than there are job seekers, the Department of Labor said.

The largest number of job openings are in business services (1.2 million), which includes accountants, software developers and clerical workers. Last month, the unemployment rate reached an 18 year low of 3.8%.

"Never before have we had an economy where the number of open jobs exceeds the number of job seekers", said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.


Hourly pay rose 2.8 per cent in May on average for all workers, excluding managers, compared with a year earlier. In April 2000, the last time the unemployment rate was as low as it is now, hourly pay jumped almost 4 per cent from the previous year.

The record number of job openings announced today is the latest employment record set during the Trump Administration. But in December 2000, near the peak of the late 1990s boom, they were receiving raises of 6.5 per cent.

The number of people quitting their jobs in April slipped just 1 percent from a record high in March to 3.4 million.

The data also showed just 6.35 million workers categorized as unemployed, down from 6.59 million in March.

The surest sign that employers were scrambling for workers would be steady pay gains, as businesses bid higher for the workers they need.

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