Job Openings Near Record High, but That May Spell Trouble

Photo (cc) by sarachicad

The number of job openings increased slightly last month, reaching nearly 5.8 million, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

That number for March reflects an increase of 149,000 jobs since February and is the highest it’s been since July, Reuters reports.

Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York, tells Reuters:

“The data generally remain upbeat and it does not look like there has been any material weakening in the health of the labor market lately.”

The industries that saw the largest increases in openings are:

  • Professional and business services (124,000 more job openings in March than in February)
  • Transportation, warehousing and utilities (35,000 more)
  • Nondurable goods manufacturing (29,000 more)

The industries that saw the largest decreases are:

  • Retail trade (80,000 fewer openings in March than in February)
  • Educational services (36,000 fewer)
  • Wholesale trade (35,000 fewer)

Despite the overall increase in job openings, the number of hirings decreased last month by 218,000, reaching just under 5.3 million. Reuters reports that this decrease in hirings suggests “employers are probably not finding qualified workers for the open positions.”

Peter Boockvar, managing director and chief market analyst at economic advisory firm the Lindsey Group, tells CNN Money:

“Employers are having a tougher time finding qualified workers.”

This is an ongoing issue. In July, when job openings reached a record high, experts were expressing similar concerns about the growing number of job openings reflecting a struggle for employers to find qualified workers.

According to ManpowerGroup’s 2015 Talent Shortage Survey, skilled trade worker jobs have been the most difficult for U.S. employers to fill for six years running, and the most difficult to fill worldwide for four years running.

To learn more, check out “The 10 Jobs Employers Struggle to Fill.”

What’s your take on the growing number of job openings and declining number of hirings? Share your thoughts with us below or sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers

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