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Record high US job openings continue in September

16:34, 12 November 2021

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Job sign in Gibbsboro, New Jersey
Job sign in Gibbsboro, New Jersey – Photo: Capital.com

A record 10 million Americans were out of work in September as the US economy struggles to rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest data compiled by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows there were 10.4 million open jobs on the last business day in September.

In an interview with Capital.com, Joey Von Nessen, a research economist at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, said job openings remain at an all-time high as employers struggle to find workers to accommodate strong consumer demand.

As the number of Covid-19 infections decreases, Von Nessen said “We expect more people to re-enter the labour force in the coming months.”

However, he added “this labour shortage will remain with us for the foreseeable future – and certainly through this year’s holiday season.”

The report also showed hires and total separations were little changed at 6.5 million and 6.2 million.

Within separations, the quits level and rate increased to a series high of 4.4 million and 3.0%, while the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 0.9%.

Where are the jobs?

According to the report, job openings increased in health care and social assistance (+141,000); state and local government, excluding education (+114,000); wholesale trade (+51,000); and information (+51,000).

Job openings were filled in state and local government education (-114,000); other services (-104,000); real estate and rental and leasing (-65,000); and educational services (-45,000).

September’s job openings – hires and separations

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed the number and rate of hires in September were little changed at 6.5 million and 4.4%, while hires increased in health care and social assistance (+109,000) and finance and insurance (+60,000).

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Hires decreased in state and local government education (-92,000) and educational services (-89,000).

In September, the number and rate of total separations were little changed at 6.2 million and 4.2%. Total separations include quits, layoffs and discharges.

The number of quits increased over the month to a series high of 4.4 million, while the number of layoffs and discharges was little changed at 1.4 million.

Over the 12 months ending in September 2021, hires totalled 73.3 million and separations totalled 67.7 million, yielding a net employment gain of 5.6 million.

These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

The final word

Some of the job openings will not be resolved by the incumbent workforce.

Von Nessen told Capital.com “about half of the drop in the workforce since the pandemic began has come from retiring baby boomers.”

Generally, “this represents a permanent loss to the US workforce we won’t get back,” he said.

Read more: Cipher mining (CIFR) updates on Bitcoin mining plans

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