Job vacancies in the US hit 5.8 mn

10 Sep 2015


Job openings in the US have hit record levels, with 5.8 million job openings in the US in July, the US Labor Department said.

This came in as much more than the previous high - 5.4 million - from last May, and the highest figure since the count of job openings started in 2000.

The increase in job openings comes with both good and bad news, sayy commentators.

On the plus side, employers were hiring more and the US economy was growing - a healthy sign as concerns rose about the global economy potentially weighing down US economic growth.

In certain respects, a large number of job openings pointed to improving trends in the US job market.

However, the flip side was that the job openings also meant employers were not finding the right people to hire.

According to experts, too many job openings represented a problem - the job skills gap in US according to experts.

Experts had been warning that Americans did not have the skills required for new job fields, especially in engineering, technical and science-related jobs.

"It's definitely a concern, and it should be a concern for anyone who cares about the future of US workers," Chris Tilly, an economics professor at University of California, Los Angeles, told CNN Money.

US companies were advertising a lot more jobs, but remained cautious when it came to filling them.

Total hiring, meanwhile fell to just below 5 million from around 5.2 million in June.

According to the figure, many businesses were having trouble finding people with the skills they needed.

How quickly businesses filled their open jobs could have a huge impact on hiring and wages.

If companies decided to offer higher pay to attract more applicants, that would provide a much-needed boost to wages, however, if they simply took more time sifting through applications to find an ideal candidate, that would slow overall job gains.

According to some economists, a mismatch between the skills of many of the expanding companies was a big reason that openings were increasing more quickly than actual hiring.

Openings were up 22 per cent in the past year, while hiring had fallen. For example, construction workers who lost jobs in the housing bust might not have switched to fields where jobs were plentiful, such as health care.

''The data ... now signal unambiguously that the labor market is unable to supply the people companies need,'' Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note to clients.

''Usually, that means wages will accelerate, though the evidence for that now is mixed.''

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