A red Rooter Man sign promotes an opening in Baton Rouge. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
The United States now has a job vacancy for every unemployed person in the country, a sign of how far the country has wandered off the recession that has cost so many Americans their jobs almost ten years ago ,
The Labor Department reported on Tuesday that there were 6.6 million job openings in March, a record high – and enough for the 6.6 million Americans who were actively seeking employment this month.
"The job market is literally on fire it's so hot with job vacancies," said Chris Rupkey, senior financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.
March was the first time a job was opened to any unemployed person since the Labor Department began monitoring the job. Openings in 2000. Employees, contractors and warehouses expanded their recruitment in March, the Department of Labor reported.
It is likely that the United States will soon be in a situation where it is actually more jobs than jobseekers. Rupkey points out that the number of unemployed Americans dropped to 6.4 million in April.
Many business leaders say their biggest concern is that they can not find enough workers. Unemployment is at its lowest level of 1945,9015 for nearly two decades, and the unemployment rate for African American and Hispanic Americans is at an all time low. Companies are revising their hiring practices to make sure that they do not exclude potential good employees, especially those who do not have a university degree or people who have a criminal record and spend time in jail.
Theoretically, anyone who wants the job should now be able to get one, but that's not typical, even in economically good times. In a nation as big as the United States, there will always be people who give up their jobs and take their time to find a new job. (More than 3 million people have voluntarily left their jobs in March, the Labor Department reports.)
There is also a mismatch between jobseekers and job opportunities. The job-seeking people do not always have the right skills or live in a place where there are many opportunities to work.
"No one stops, they create jobs, but they do not submit them," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. "There is clearly a knowledge gap."
Businesses today have two choices, many economists say: they can pay more for talent or expand their education programs. So far, there have been a lot of anecdotes from companies taking these actions, but it is not yet reflected in the nationwide data.
Wage growth has stalled to a lackluster level. Last year, according to Ministry of Labor data released on Friday, wages rose only 2.6 percent, a historically low rate. While some workers' jobs such as truck and rail pay up to $ 25,000, there was a marked increase in employment bonuses, these are one-time payments, not real salary increases.
In Washington, the Trump Administration Companies have been urged to create more apprenticeships, and in states like Rhode Island and Tennessee, state lawmakers have released community college to make it easier for workers to improve their skills and CVs. (Maryland just approved it.)
"Training workers is expensive, we have not done that in America for a long time," Swonk said.
The classic economic explanation for why wages are not rising is that workers' productivity in the United States has been low since the Great Recession. Productivity is a measure of how much power each worker makes per hour. If that goes up, wages typically follow. One of the objectives of President Trump's tax cuts is to encourage companies to invest more in new technologies and factories to increase productivity and thus wages. It is too early to say if this is happening.
Another popular theory for why companies keep wages low is that more people are looking for work than the Labor Department statistics show. They say that there are many "marginalized" people, especially men in their best years of work, who do not work for reasons that are not fully understood. As the economy adds jobs, some Americans who have given up looking for work start looking again. There are also Americans who are underemployed: they now have a job, but they want a full-time job.
"It's worth remembering that 5 million [people] still work part-time but want to work full-time." said Mark Hamrick, chief economist at Bankrate.
Walmart, for example, opted to give his part-time employees more hours rather than hire extra workers in the last holiday season.
As the labor market continues to contract, economists continue to say that this is the year when wages will finally rise for most Americans. But some researchers are starting to point to deeper problems that might hold back wages, such as rising health costs, forcing employers to spend money on health care spending that would lead to wage increases. Or the fact that many small and medium-sized cities today are dominated by a few companies. These power player companies act as "pace cars" for wages in the region. When they get low, everyone else follows.
There is no consensus on what restrains wage increases, especially as conditions are ideal for workers to finally receive substantial salary increases.
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