U.S. job openings now nearly match unemployed workers, according to Labor Department data and Bloomberg News.
The April jobs report showed that the U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs. Jobs figures for February were revised slightly downward but were revised significantly upward for March. The net gain was an additional 30,000 jobs over previous estimates. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%, the lowest it’s been since 2000.
The numbers mean there are roughly 6.3 million unemployed Americans according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to data released today, there are about 6.5 million job openings in the U.S., putting the number of unemployed Americans roughly on par with the number of positions waiting to be filled.
The ratio of unemployed Americans to job openings has been cut nearly in half since the beginning of the great recession in 2007. At that time there were 1.9 unemployed Americans for every job opening.
Openings rose in the construction, retail, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality sectors, but fell in manufacturing, finance and insurance.
Wages grew by 4 cents an hour and are up about 2.6% over the past year. Although, the rise is lower than it has been in previous periods of low unemployment (historically about 4%).
The current United States economic expansion is the second longest in the nation’s history. The U.S. will achieve the largest expansion in its history if it can keep the current pace steady until July of 2019.
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