Jobless rate is low, worker demand is high

Now Hiring AP:Mike Groll

Trump’s Economy Delivers Highest Level of Job Openings Ever Recorded AP Mike Groll 5 Jun 2018Washington D.C

For the first time on record, the number of American job openings exceeds the number of job seekers - providing the latest indicator of continued job growth and economic strength under President Donald J. Trump.

Data released on Tuesday by the Labor Department showed a record 6.7 million job openings in the April, a slight increase from 6.63 million in March.

Low wage growth has puzzled economists, since employers should start paying more as workers become more scarce.

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There are now more open jobs than there are unemployed people, a historically unusual development that should give workers more leverage to demand raises. In April, there were 0.95 jobless people per opening. Yet wage increases remain sluggish, compared with previous periods when the unemployment rate was this low. During the month of May, the unemployment rates for adult women and adult men reached the lowest levels since 2000, at 3.3% and 3.5% respectively.

In addition to increasing compensation offers, employers may need to broaden their search parameters, commit to train imperfect new hires and invest in automation to do more with the same number or fewer workers. That is a sign that companies are willing to pay more to lure workers from other companies.

So while the quits rate of government workers is somewhat responsive to the changing job market, the four-tenths-of-percent rise is far narrower than the one percentage point rise of the private sector. That figure was just 11 per cent before the Great Recession began in late 2007.

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

Job openings rose in professional and business services, which includes accountants, architects and engineers; manufacturing; and in hotels and restaurants.

The total US labor force of employed and unemployed workers was 161.5 million in April.

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