Author: David Templeton, CFA, Principal & Portfolio Manager
May's Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey released this morning showed job openings of 9.2 million were little changed from April's report. Although the JOLTS report is released with a little lag, the openings level compares to June's 9.5 million individuals looking for employment.
Over 50% of the job openings fall into industries that are benefiting from the reopening of economies. Education and Health Services, Leisure and Hospitality and Retail Trade each have almost one million open positions. These openings are up sharply from the same period a year ago. This level of open positions, especially in manufacturing, is contributing to some of the tight supply due to the inability of some manufacturers to get product produced.
The stubbornly high level of unemployed individuals along with the large number of available job openings is most certainly resulting in a headwind to the pace of economic growth that could be realized at this stage of the expansion. The expanded pandemic unemployment aid is set to expire on September 6; however, half of the U.S. states, twenty-six, chose to end extra benefits early. Some push back on this early expiration of the extra aid is occurring though. In the end, the the number of individuals unemployed needs to be reduced.
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