The number of job openings increased to a record 10.9 million in July, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The report beat consensus expectations of 10 million new job openings, which was nearly the same amount as in June, which was a record. The new numbers come as many businesses complain of labor shortages, with some companies opting to increase wages or create other hiring incentives to lure employees back into the job market.
New hires decreased slightly overall, including by 277,000 in the retail trade industry and by 41,000 in durable goods manufacturing, but increased in state and local public education and federal government jobs.
Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst, said that the results of the July report were “stunning” but noted that Thursday’s jobless claims report is expected to bring pandemic-era lows in the number of people applying for unemployment.
“It remains to be seen whether improvement in employment wanes a bit further here in the closing act of 2021,” he said. “The delta variant and global supply chain constraints may continue to hamper activity, but some contributors to growth may only be deferred.”
Republicans and some economists have pointed to supercharged unemployment benefits as the culprit of the surging numbers of open jobs this year, and while those benefits sunset in many states on Labor Day, about half of the states ended them early, including some in July.
Wednesday’s numbers were being closely watched given that it is the second month that factors in the cessation of some of those benefits.
The economy added just 235,000 new jobs in August, much fewer than the 750,000 that economists had projected.
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Original Author: Zachary Halaschak
Original Location: Job openings hit record 10.9M amid labor shortage fears