- A record 10.9 million job openings were posted in July, according to Labor Department data
- The number of people quitting their job has also stayed at record levels in recent months, with nearly 4 million resigning in July
- Professional and business services, health care and social services, and accommodation and food services account for the majority of available jobs
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
A record high number of job openings were posted in the United States at the end of July, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This continues a trend of available jobs outnumbering the number of unemployed people in the nation, as well as a persistently elevated number of people quitting their job.
There were 10.9 million job openings at the end of July, up 749,000 from June. The figure included an increase of 294,000 job postings in health care and social assistance, 116,000 in finance and insurance, and 115,000 in accommodation and food service.
The BLS report says there has been a net gain of 7 million jobs in the 12 months leading up to the end of July. However, 8.4 million people remain unemployed and the U.S. has 5.3 million fewer jobs than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Fields with the highest number of job openings included business and professional services (1.83 million), health care and social services (1.79 million), accommodation and food services (1.58 million), and retail (1.1 million)
- 6.7 million people were hired in July, with the rate of hires standing at 4.5 percent
- Hiring was up among government employers, but down in retail, durable goods manufacturing, and educational services
- There were 5.8 million separations in July, with a separations rate of 3.9 percent; this included a quits rate of 2.7 percent and a layoffs and discharges rate of 1 percent
- The number of people quitting their job has been at record levels for the past four months, increasing from 3.87 million in June to 3.98 million in July
- The quits rate has been most pronounced in accommodation and food service as well as retail, though the number of quits also increased in wholesale trade as well as state and local government education
- Employers have been coping with a disconnect between available jobs and available applicants, often offering higher pay or better benefits in a bid to attract and retain qualified workers
- The BLS report does not reflect the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant, which likely contributed to a deceleration in jobs growth in August