Job Openings Soar Stateside

Americans in need of a job need not look far.

So the latest stats out of the U.S. Labor Department seem to show.

The department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed job openings outnumbered the unemployed by more than two million in July as companies struggled to fill a record number of vacancies

JOLTS, which the Federal Reserve watches closely for signs of slack in employment, showed 10.9 million positions open. That was much higher than the FactSet estimate of 9.9 million and the June total of 10.18 million.

That number swamped the 8.7 million level of those out of work and looking for jobs in July. JOLTS data runs a month behind the regular non-farm payrolls data, which reported growth of 1.05 million for July.

The department also mentioned that hiring slowed sharply in August, with payrolls growing by just 235,000 even as the total unemployed dipped to just shy of 8.4 million.

The rate of job openings measured against the total labor force swelled to 6.9% in July, up from 6.5% the previous month and 4.6% a year ago.

From an industry standpoint, the rate jumped to 10.7% from 10.2% in the critical leisure and hospitality field, which has suffered the most during the COVID-19 pandemic. Openings rose to 1.82 million, a total gain of 134,000 from June.