December 08, 2021 | 10:24
Any Takers for the Near-Record Number of Job Openings?
Step right up, step right up, get your job right here!
You know, this is supposed to be great news. And it is, technically. There were 11.033 mln job openings in the U.S. in October, only the second time ever above the 11 mln mark (behind the 11.098 mln openings in July). This is an increase from the upwardly revised September figure of 10.602 mln (was 10.438). There were more options available in the private sector (a record high 10.118 mln), including construction and manufacturing and leisure & hospitality. Only those in trade, transportation and utilities slipped. Government jobs fell to a 2-month low.
But.... hiring in the private sector slipped, which reflects the frustration that employers are feeling. They're already increasing wages, adding more benefits... carrots that should work to attract workers. Separations also fell. And interestingly, fewer people quit their jobs in the month, which is welcome news.
Bottom Line: Under normal circumstances, a near record number of job openings would be something worth celebrating. But no employer is in a celebratory mood. It is difficult to fill orders or meet customer demands if there are not enough people to do the actual work.