There are nearly as many job openings as unemployed USA workers

Task openings hit List high of 6.6 million

The monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, released by the Labor Department on Tuesday also showed more workers voluntarily quit their jobs in March, a sign of confidence in the labor market that economists believe will help to push up wage growth this year.

The job openings in March matched the number of people unemployed, which is highly unusual as the unemployment rate has historically been higher, The Associated Press noted.

Analysts had forecast 6.1mn openings, and the prior month's reading was revised upward to 6.08mn.

US job openings surged to a record high in March, suggesting that a recent slowdown in hiring was probably the result of employers having difficulties finding qualified workers.

The job openings rate rose three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.2 percent, also an all-time high. That's the last time that wages truly increased significantly, and it attracted plenty of people back into the labor market.

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So where are all the job openings?

Openings jumped in specialist and company services, which added 112,000 positions, and construction, together with 68,000 and transport, warehousing and utilities, which documented 37,000 new rankings. In March, that rate fell to 1 unemployed for every job opening.

Remember that "unemployed" counts only people looking for a job. But now, with wage gains sluggish, employers may be willing to post jobs because they don't need to pay so much.

Also, economic research by the Federal Reserve suggests that employers aren't poaching as many workers who already have jobs as they did in the past, Bunker says. Yet overall hiring slipped, while quits increased. More Americans than in the past are staying in their jobs rather than switching to new ones for higher pay. Workers typically quit when they have other jobs lined up, or they're confident they can find one.

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