Following a lot of turmoil in the labor market in July, the U.S. job openings rose to a record high. According to the Labor Department, there were 11.22 million job openings in July. This was an increase from June’s 11 million openings.
For the last 12 months, the number of jobs available has regularly been above 10 million. Before the pandemic, the highest number on record had been 7.7 million.
The Federal Reserve is monitoring this data as they are trying to see whether another unexpected increase in the opening could result in further inflation or in the economy slowing down.
According to Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL, there are currently two job openings for every person looking for work. This means that the Feds should be looking at the inflation-fighting mandate.
At the same time, the number of Americans quitting their jobs has dropped to 4.18 million. This is around 2.7% of the workforce. This is quite a bit lower than the 4.5 million recorded last year, but it is still far higher than the 3.6 million quitting their jobs pre-pandemic.
In April the industries with the highest number of resignations were food services and accommodation, social assistance and health care, and transportation, housing, and utilities.
Job switching has also been more common in the past year, with those willing to switch jobs seeing a 6.7% increase in their annual wage growth rate. Those who did not switch jobs had a 4.9% growth rate.
In response to the right labor market and the inflation rates, the Fed has increased the interest rates. Officials have approved two consecutive 75 basis point rate hikes and another one is being discussed for September.