Job openings hit record high of 9.3 million in April

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The numbers suggest that people are eager to work

The number of posted job listings hit a record high of 9.3 million in April, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). 

Analysts said the surge in job postings is the result of economic upturn set in motion by the nation’s recovery from the pandemic recession of last year. April’s job postings beat a record set in March of 8.3 million and topped analysts’ expectation of around 8.18 million. 

Job postings on the last business day of April were at their highest level since the JOLTS series began in December 2000, the Labor Department said. The hire rate in April remained more or less unchanged at 4.2% from the previous month.

“Hires increased in accommodation and food services (+232,000) and in federal government (+10,000),” the report noted. “Hires decreased in construction (-107,000), durable goods manufacturing (-37,000), and educational services (-32,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions.”

More growth coming soon

The quits rate, which is viewed as a way to gauge workers’ confidence that they can find another job, increased substantially to 3.95 million (a 10.8% increase). The retail sector saw a particularly high jump in quits -- from 3.6% to 4.3%. 

Overall, the JOLTS numbers suggest that the job market is poised to see more growth in the months ahead.

"There are still a lot of people unemployed, but there does not seem to be a lot of eagerness to work," Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial in New York, told Reuters. "There would have been many more hires if employers could find more people."

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