According to the Labor Department, the United States has experienced a rare phenomenon in April 2019: the number of job openings is much higher than the number of unemployed Americans. In fact, this trend has been going on for some time now. Since 2018, Americans searching for jobs has continued to decrease while job openings continue to rise.
This phenomenon further underscores the difficulty employers face in finding and hiring workers. While many jobs are open across the board, employers are struggling to hire qualified workers from a shrinking pool of eligible Americans. Experts and analysts alike have warned that this situation may not improve anytime soon.
The Struggle to Uncover Talent
At the end of April, there were 7.45 million unfilled jobs, a seasonally-adjusted figure that stayed consistent since March. However, only 5.82 million Americans were seeking work, dropping from 6.21 million in March.
Although America experiences economic prosperity with a large chunk of its population having jobs, businesses fear they won't be able to keep up with this growth as they run out of workers. This predicament is particularly frightening for employers. They find it harder nowadays to hire talents who can give valuable contributions to their company.
Signs of a Slowing Labor Market
While jobs are still in demand in 2019, the market did not boom as much as in 2018. Over the past several months, the rapid-fire pace of hiring new employees has been slowing down.
Recent data suggests that employers only added 75,000 to payrolls in May. Though the data is volatile, 2019's monthly job additions had a consistent, significant decrease on the average.
Analysts believe this is due to many economic factors such as uncertainty amid U.S. and China trade tensions and the global economy's slow growth. Some economists also warn that this slowdown indicates stalling in the labor-market momentum.
More Demands, Lesser and Lesser Supply
The labor force aged 25-54 fell to 82.1% in May, hurting the employment market further as they make up the majority of employees that companies rely on. And since the recession, the employes' quit rate is at an all-time high as well, indicating decreased confidence in the job market. In April, it remained at 2.3% for the 11th-straight month.
Experts say that without stronger wage growth, the low workforce supply might stay the same or decrease even more. To both attract and retain talent, companies may have to offer more perks and benefits. Employers will also have to explore more sustainable strategies for the company's future.
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