US job openings rate rises to 4.9%

Number of open jobs rose from 7.1 mn to 7.4 mn

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The rate of job openings attained a record high level in February, which is a good sign for job seekers. The number of vacancies as a percentage of the employed and vacant jobs, together rose to 4.7 per cent. This is the highest since December 2000. However, there are still about 9.7 million jobless in the US, which means about 1.3 people for each job opening are unemployed.

According to the Labour Department, there has been a significant rise in open jobs, to 7.4 million, from 7.1 million in January. It has crossed pre-pandemic level of about 7 million. A total of 5.7 million people were hired, which is a significant number, although lower than the numbers hired in February 2020, before the pandemic spread in earnest.

As per data from the Job Openings and Labour Turnover survey (JOLTS), the hiring figures represent a gross figure, while the monthly jobs report provides a net number of jobs gained or lost.

Reportedly, a net 9,16,000 jobs were added, which is the highest number since August, and the unemployment rate fell to 6 per cent, from 6.2 per cent.
Yet, the job market has a long way to go before it can recover fully. If people who lost their jobs and gave up hunting for livelihood are included, the unemployment rate would be about 9 per cent.

However, with the hike in available jobs, hiring will continue.Employers in the US have added over 9 lakh jobs, with the maximum numbers in healthcare, with 2.3 lakh more job postings compared to the previous month.

Even in the leisure and hospitality space, there was a significant increase of about 1.6 lakh vacancies.

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