Job openings in the U.S. just hit a 15-year high.
According to the Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), job openings rose 5.2 percent in April to 5.4 million — the highest since 2000.
“This is more confirmation that the economy is indeed emerging from that soft patch in the first quarter and can still pick up even faster in the next few months,” MUFG Union Bank chief financial economist Chris Rupkey said. Hiring, however, fell slightly from 5.1 million in March to 5.0 in April, which economists said was because employers are unable to find qualified workers.
In the past year, industries such as health care, social assistance and business services have had the most job openings, with health care seeing the most significant increase in April.
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In addition, approximately 2.7 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in April — something that typically only happens when there is a better, higher-paying position available.
“On balance, we read the April JOLTS data as suggesting labor market momentum remains intact in the second quarter and labor market slack continues to diminish,” economist Jesse Hurwitz said of the findings.
The JOLTS data comes as unemployment continues to drop. The unemployment rate is currently at 5.5 percent, down from 6.3 percent last year.