Employers increase job postings
In an uncommon piece of good news regarding the job market, the U.S. Department of Labor is reporting that July saw an increase in job postings and a decline in layoffs. However, economic analysts are hesitant to declare that unemployment, and its common consequences such as foreclosure and bankruptcy, are on the downswing.
In July, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, employers increased job postings to 3.23 million from June’s 3.17 million postings. July’s numbers marked the largest number of job openings since August of 2008, which is a promising development. The biggest increases in open positions were in the fields of manufacturing, transportation, trade and utilities.
However, economists warn that the increase in job openings doesn’t necessarily equal an increase in actual jobs. Last week, the government reported that August saw no increase in net jobs in the U.S., making it one of the worst months for hiring in recent years. And the unemployment remains at a high 9.1 percent (and higher in Georgia and several other states.)
In addition, there were approximately 4.3 unemployed Americans competing for each open position in July. While this is a slight improvement from June, when there were 4.45 unemployed workers for each job, it is still far from the 2 to 1 ration that signifies a healthy economy.
Finally, total hiring slowed in July. About 3.98 million people were hired, which is a decline from the 4.16 million people hired in June. However, layoffs also dropped, from June’s 3.99 million to July’s 3.92 million. While this does not yet signify that the job market is recovering, it is reassuring to know that there is at least some good news out there.
Source: Associated Press, “Businesses post most job openings in 3 years,” Christopher S. Rugaber, Sept. 7, 2011