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Job Opening, “Production Manager”.

BLS Data Shows US Employers Ready to Hire

Aug. 30, 2022
The number of unfilled jobs rose to about 11.2 million at the close of July – two jobs open for every eligible person seeking work – meaning a competitive market in which inflation has not affected hiring.

The U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 11.2 million unfilled jobs for the month of July, rising about 200,000 more than the revised June total, and 456,000 more than the July 2021 number. The increase from June to July was not as great as some forecasters had predicted, suggesting that hiring activity continues at a steady pace despite high inflation affecting employers.

The July data reveals that the number of open positions across all sectors has remained above 11 million total for eight consecutive months, as employers and analysts try to determine why so many individuals are making themselves unavailable for employment.

Within individual markets, the number of open positions is highest in the “Education and health services” (2.18 million openings) and “Professional and business services” (2.09 million) sectors.

The “Manufacturing” sector had 834,000 openings at the close of July, and of these 558,000 reported openings were in “Durable goods” manufacturing businesses.

In fact, “Durable goods” job openings declined by 47,000 from June to July, according to BLS data.

The BLS’ monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) revealed that U.S. businesses had two jobs open for every unemployed person during July, business activity remains steady and that the labor market is a competitive one. Those factors will be available to argue against the conclusion that the U.S. economy is in recession – though the standard interpretation of two consecutive declines in quarterly GDP remains relevant.

While the number of open jobs is interpreted as positive, the figures for new hires slipped by 74,000 jobs overall from June to July. Manufacturing hires fell by 37,000 jobs overall, of which 13,000 jobs were Durable goods manufacturing jobs.

BLS further reported that the number of total separations (“quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations”) was 5.9 million during July, down from 6 million for June. Of these 437,000 separations were in the Manufacturing sector (compared to 446,000 for June), and 226,000 came in the Durable goods manufacturing sector (versus 239,000 during June.)

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