Statistics Show U.S. has Plenty of Job Openings but Also a Worker Shortage

Career

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The number of job openings in the United States numbered 9.2 million while hires in the country totaled 5.9 million in May 2021, leaving a large gap between labor supply and demand, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) for May 2021 released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Released on July 7, 2021, the JOLTS survey for May 2021 showed the job openings rate was unchanged at 6.0 percent while job openings increased by 109,000 jobs in other services, by 46,000 jobs in state and local government education, and by 35,000 jobs in educational services. The rate of hires changed little at 4.1 percent.

Data collection for the JOLTS survey was affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The JOLTS response rate for May 2021 was 44 percent, while response rates prior to the pandemic averaged 54 percent. More information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-may-2021.htm.

The jobs report for June 2021 released by the BLS revealed that total nonfarm employment in the United States rose by 850,000 jobs and the number of unemployed persons was 9.5 million, which was down considerably from a recent high in April 2020 but well above levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020.

COVID-19 is a deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of July 15, 2021, there are approximately 188 million global cases and 4 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 33 million cases and 608,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.

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