Job openings soar to 10.9 million as companies struggle to fill positions

KEY POINTS
  • The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which the Federal Reserve watches closely for signs of slack in employment, showed 10.9 million positions open.
  • That was well above the 9.9 million FactSet estimate and the 10.2 million from June.

Job openings outnumbered the unemployed by more than 2 million in July as companies struggled to fill a record number of vacancies, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which the Federal Reserve watches closely for signs of slack in employment, showed 10.9 million positions open. That was much higher than the FactSet estimate of 9.9 million and the June total of 10.18 million.

That number swamped the 8.7 million level of those out of work and looking for jobs in July. JOLTS data runs a month behind the regular nonfarm payrolls data, which reported growth of 1.05 million for July.

Hiring slowed sharply in August, with payrolls growing by just 235,000 even as the total unemployed dipped to just shy of 8.4 million.

The rate of job openings measured against the total labor force swelled to 6.9% in July, up from 6.5% the previous month and 4.6% a year ago.

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