US Job Openings Soar to 2-Year High as Economic Improvement Continues

The US labour market continues to show signs of improvement, as job openings hit a two-year high in February.

The latest Bureau of Labour Statistics’ Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey, or JOLTs, shows that the number of job openings rose from a revised 7.1 million to 7.37 million in February. The median estimate by economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a total of 6.9 million openings; the better-than-expected results suggest that US employers have ramped up hiring in some of the industries that were hit hardest by the pandemic.

With economic activity picking up and vaccination levels increasing, employers across the US have increasingly been searching for workers to fill vacant positions. Although elevated job openings suggest a strong hiring spree will likely ensue in the coming months, a number of businesses have revealed they are unable to find workers due to ongoing obstacles such as health concerns and adequate childcare.

Job postings for the healthcare industry rose to 1.45 million, while openings in the accommodation and food services industry increased by 761,000. Similarly, the retail sector saw a jump of 916,000 vacancies in February— the highest since October 2019. In the meantime, the number of Americans who voluntarily left their position remained little changed, as the quits rate stood at 2.3%. Separations, which account for layoffs and quits, rose from 5.3 million to 5.5 million, but still remain lower relative to December levels.

Information for this briefing was found via the BLS and FRED. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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