US Job Openings Rise to Record 11.5M

    Photo: Christopher Sadowski [via New York Post]

    The Facts

    • More than 11.5M job openings were posted in March, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tues., meaning that the US now has a staggering 2 job openings per unemployed American. A record 4.5M quit their positions in the same month.

    • The manufacturing, retail, and hospitality sectors are having a particularly difficult time finding and retaining staff.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The shortage of workers in the US is putting massive pressure on the labor market and driving up both wages and prices. Avg. hourly wages for private sector workers went up 5.6% year-on-year in March 2022 and the record compensation gains for workers switching jobs is contributing to the worst inflation crisis for 40 yrs.

    Narrative B

    The Chair of the Federal Reserve has commented that the "historically" tight job market is a major reason the US economy can withstand the higher interest rates being implemented by the Fed to tackle inflation caused by the pandemic, without pushing America into recession. There has been a shift of power from employers to employees, who will no longer settle for being exploited or undervalued at work.

    Narrative C

    Changes in the US labor market have nothing to do with low-paying industries like retail and entertainment. They're being fueled by older, higher-paid workers increasingly quitting their jobs. The "great resignation" is in fact the "great midlife crisis" as more mature workers reevaluate what they actually want out of their life and career.

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