Talent Shortage in U.S. Continues as Job Openings Hit Record High of 6.6 Million in March 2018

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The talent shortage problem continued in the United States as job openings increased to a record high of 6.6 million on the last business day of March 2018, according to the ‘Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary’ from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest level since the survey began in December 2000.

The summary found the talent shortage has spread as job openings increased in a number of industries including professional and business services (+112,000), construction (+68,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+37,000). The number of job openings also increased in the Northeast and Midwest regions.

In March 2018, the number of hires was little changed at 5.4 million while the number of separations also changed little at 5.3 million. Over the 12 months ending in March 2018, hires totaled 65.7 million and separations totaled 63.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.3 million.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey results for April 2018 are scheduled to be released on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Until then, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary for March 2018 will be available on the BLS website at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm.

In April 2018, ESR News reported that the U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs – mostly in professional and business services – while the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent and the number of unemployed persons decreased to 6.3 million, according to the BLS Employment Situation report.

In January 2018, ESR News reported that with unemployment falling and demand for workers rising, companies in America facing a talent shortage were forced “to consider workers they once would have turned away” and provide “opportunities to people who have long faced barriers to employment, such as criminal records.”

The New York Times reported that in one Wisconsin county – where the unemployment rate was 2 percent in November 2017 – “demand for workers has grown so intense that manufacturers are taking their recruiting a step further: hiring inmates at full wages to work in factories even while they serve their prison sentences.”

U.S. Census Bureau data reveals that employment rates of “prime-age workers” aged 25 to 54 have grown the most among those who have not earned a high school diploma in the past five years, more than people with a high school diploma or G.E.D., some college or associate’s degree, or a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

The problem is not just in America. Employers around the world are facing the largest talent shortage since the recession of 2008 as 40 percent of global employers have experienced difficulties filling jobs – the highest level since 41 percent in 2007 – according to the 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey from ManpowerGroup.

The survey of 42,300 global employers from 43 countries found more employers are turning to training and development of their own workforce to address talent shortage problems. The number of employers using this strategy has more than doubled since 2015, from one in five to over half.

An Infographic for the survey showed skilled trade jobs such as electricians, carpenters, and plumbers were the hardest to fill globally for the fifth consecutive year. When asked why it was hard to fill jobs, the survey revealed that 24 percent of employers said lack of available applicants or no applicants.

The survey also found that the countries having the worst talent shortage problems were spread out all over the globe and included Japan (86 percent), Taiwan (73 percent), Romania (72 percent), Hong Kong (69 percent), Turkey (66 percent), Bulgaria (62 percent), Argentina (59 percent), and Greece (59 percent).

ESR Can Help Solve the Talent Shortage Problem

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is a leading global background check firm that offers background screening services to help employers solve the talent shortage problem with industry specific solutions. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com or follow us on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

© 2018 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.