Job opportunities and the number of times workers quit reached the highest levels recorded in March, as a shortage of available labor continued to put pressure on the US labor market.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Labor reported a seasonal adjustment 11.5 million job opportunities In March, an increase of 11.3 million over the previous month. The number of times workers quit their jobs rose to 4.5 million in the same month, slightly higher than the previous record set in November of last year. Meanwhile, hiring slowed slightly from the previous month to 6.7 million in March.
Separate estimates for the private sector showed that labor demand remained hot during the month of April. Job site ZipRecruiter said employers held about 11 million jobs last month.
Consumer-facing industries, such as accommodation and food services, along with arts and entertainment, posted the highest job openings in March, according to the Department of Labor. Employment opportunities in the healthcare sector are also close to record levels.
According to a ZipRecruiter analysis of Department of Labor data, job advertisements for larger employers — those with more than 5,000 workers — have doubled since February 2020. Manufacturing, retail, education, and professional services have seen the biggest increases. Openings have reached an all-time high in the South.
Total job opportunities for March were higher than the previous record of 11.4 million in December, according to the Department of Labor.
“There is little sign of the market for the largest job seekers ever slowing,” said Julia Pollack, chief economist at ZipRecruiter. “As firms continue to experience high turnover, and the gap between labor demand and supply widens further, firms will continue to face upward pressure on wages.”
The number of vacancies continues to outpace the number of unemployed people looking for work. In March, there were nearly two job openings for every unemployed person, according to the Labor Department. Job vacancies have exceeded the level of unemployed people looking for jobs since last spring.
Employers have had difficulty hiring from the limited pool of workers available, and millions are expected To stay on the sidelines indefinitely. This has also led to higher wages.
Bryan Simmons is a behavioral psychologist who started his own business in therapeutic services in October 2020, treating patients with developmental disabilities such as autism.
Mr Simmons said he was offered wages “well above industry standards” to successfully compete for therapists.
“I remember asking one of my current workers in particular how much money they would need to make to be happy and stay,” Mr. Simmons said. Then they gave me a number and I said ‘Done’.
Jeff Patohan quit his job as CEO at an advertising technology company in December and worked remotely at Tinuiti, a New York City-based marketing firm. The 45-year-old said he was drawn to the culture and flexibility of his current workplace.
“I had a baby during the pandemic, and I really started to value what was best for me and my family. Flexibility in the workplace and company values have played a real role for me personally,” said Mr. Patuhan.
He said switching to a job completely remotely allowed Mr. Patuhan and his family to relocate in March from New York City to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where they have more living space.
The average hourly wage for private sector workers was 5.6% higher than the year before in March, rising much faster than the 3% rate recorded in the year before the outbreak of the pandemic, according to the Labor Department.
“If the labor market slows significantly, we may not see the same level of wage growth and benefits expansion,” said Daniel Gao, chief economist at jobs website Glassdoor.
write to Brian Mina at [email protected]
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