| 28 January 2023, Saturday |

US job vacancies hit a record 10.1 million

US job openings jumped by 590,000 to 10.1 million on the last day of the month, according to figures from the Labor Department.

That was up from a record 9.5 million openings in May and well above economists’ expectations.

Leisure and hospitality companies struggle to find workers as the economy reopens.

“The ratio of openings to hires, despite easing in June, remained at historically elevated levels,” JPMorgan analyst Peter McCrory said.

US unemployment soared to 14.8 percent at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but the economy has been rebounding robustly this year.

However, despite restrictions being eased, workers have not rushed back to jobs in the numbers expected.

The shortfall has been due to a lack of affordable childcare, generous unemployment benefits, and pandemic-related retirements and career changes.

Some also believe there are too many low-skilled jobs being advertised, and not enough suitable candidates.

Official unemployment figures in July suggested the country might be turning a corner, as employment rose by 943,000. The unemployment rate also fell 0.5 percentage points to 5.4%.

However the figures mainly pre-date the rise of the Delta variant of Covid in the US, which has led to a surge in infections and fears new restrictions could be imposed.