The number of job openings in America is now at its highest level since the federal government started tracking the figure in 2001.
Approximately 6.04 million job openings were available in April, according to the job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS report), released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Tuesday. That figure represents an increase of 400,000 job openings from the same month last year, and is the highest number since the BLS started tracking job openings in 2001.
The number of hires fell to 5.1 million in April, according to the report, a decrease of 253,000. Job openings increased in a number of industries, the largest being the 118,000 new openings by accommodation and food services. Job openings decreased in durable goods manufacturing by 30,000, but increased for government by 39,000.
The new numbers come just days after the May jobs report delivered mixed signals. While the unemployment rate hit a 16-year low at 4.3 percent, the 138,000 new jobs added failed to meet Wall Street’s expectations.
The labor force participation rate fell slightly to 62.7 percent, continuing to trend at its lowest rate since the late 1970s. Friday’s job report also revealed that the number of unemployed workers that are new entrants to the workforce continues to decrease, a sign that recent college graduates are quickly finding jobs, according to Yahoo’s Myles Udland.
April saw 1.6 million layoffs and discharges, showing little change from March. President Donald Trump has focused on manufacturing jobs, a sector that has seen steady growth since his election.
The business community has signaled its willingness to work with the White House on infrastructure, tax and regulatory reform. The White House is touting this week as “infrastructure week,” announcing a series of transportation-related initiatives, including a plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system. (RELATED: Trump Seeks To Privatize The Nation’s Air Traffic Control System)
The high number of job openings could be due, in part, to a renewed sense of optimism among employers that Trump is going to deliver on his promise to bring back jobs that have been shifted overseas. In a National Association of Manufacturers survey taken after Trump’s election, 93.3 percent of manufacturers were either somewhat or very positive about their own company’s outlook for the future.
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