Number of Job Openings Hits Record-High at 6 Million

Quits, layoffs, discharges declined by 225,000 in April

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June 7, 2017

The number of job openings for workers hit a record-high of 6,044,000 in April, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The bureau defines a job opening as any full-time, part-time, or seasonal position available that a candidate could start within 30 days and one that the employer is actively looking to fill.

These type of job openings increased by 259,000 from March to April and the number of separations, or quits, layoffs, and discharges, declined by 225,000 in the same time frame.

"The number of job openings edged up for total private (+220,000) and increased for government (+39,000)," the bureau explained. "Job openings increased in a number of industries with the largest increase occurring in accommodation and food services."

While the number of job openings improved over the month, the number of individuals actually hired declined by 253,000 in April.

"Over the 12 months ending in April, hires totaled 62.9 million and separations totaled 60.7 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.2 million," the bureau said. "These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year."

According to Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, the policy push by Congress should not be for a minimum wage increase but for jobs that can give the unemployed a sufficient standard of living.

"Hitting the six million unfilled jobs milestone demonstrates this country doesn't have a jobs gap, but a skills gap," said Ortiz. "It suggests the shortage of qualified candidates is a factor that will hold back aggressive economic growth targets."

"We must act now to Fight for 50—as in the fight to match the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans with the millions of unfilled jobs that pay roughly $50,000 a year."

While progressives are "fighting for $15," the Jobs Creators Network is fighting for $50,000—jobs that do not require a bachelor's degree but allow individuals to get past living paycheck to paycheck.

"Only 395,000 people aged 25 or older earn the minimum wage—roughly half a percent of the national hourly workforce," Ortiz says.

"Meaningfully raising wages for median earners calls for a fight for $50—as in a fight for $50,000 a year careers," he explains. "These are the middle-class jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree but do provide salaries necessary for enriching lives beyond a paycheck-to-paycheck existence."

Published under: Economic Recovery , Jobs