The United States economy has over 10 million job openings.
According to data from the Department of Labor, the number of positions available in the United States increased to 10.1 million as of the last business day in June — the highest number ever observed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In May, there were 9.2 million openings.
The total number of separations, however, also increased. According to the Department of Labor’s press release:
Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.
In June, the quits level and rate increased to 3.9 million (+239,000) and 2.7 percent, respectively. Quits increased in professional and business services (+72,000); durable goods manufacturing (+47,000); and state and local government, excluding education (+33,000). Quits decreased in state and local government education (-26,000). The number of quits increased in the South region.
As CNBC notes, the Labor Department’s Friday report revealed that there are 8.7 million Americans searching for work — meaning that the number of openings vastly exceeds the number of potential workers. Many economists are concerned that $300-per-week enhanced federal unemployment insurance — which is not set to expire until early September — is prompting Americans to stay home rather than seek new positions.
At the end of June — roughly the same period for which the Department of Labor found the record number of openings — Morning Consult surveyed 463 out-of-work American adults. One in eight respondents said that they have refused job offers while unemployed because they “receive enough money from unemployment insurance without having to work.” As 14.1 million adults were collecting benefits at the time of the survey, Morning Consult concluded that roughly 1.8 million Americans have turned down jobs due to the federal handouts.
In an interview with The Daily Wire, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) — the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee — predicted that the federal payments would continue to create obstacles in the American economic rebound from COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession.
“The labor force participation rate, that key indicator — it’s just stuck at a very low rate,” he said. “It hasn’t budged in six months under President Biden. Without those workers returning, we’re gonna continue to see those higher prices and those slower deliveries in a major way.”