Help wanted. As of this August, there are more job openings in the U.S. than there've been at any point since the year 2000, when the Labor Department launched it's job openings and labor turnover survey. How many jobs? Almost 7 million, 140 thousand and that's with hiring at record levels as well with 5 million, 780 thousand Americans getting jobs in August. In another first for the survey, there are more job openings in America than there are unemployed people in America. That's according to the U.S. Labor Department.
Contrast that to when the great recession officially ended in June of 2009. At that time there was six unemployed Americans for every one job opening.
The new numbers are great news for the U.S. economy and they are for workers who have the skills for the jobs that are available. And though wage growth hasn't kept pace with job growth in recent years, it has been increasing in recent months. And economists are saying that with more companies competing with each other to hire a limited number of workers, wages are likely to go up faster as well. Are there any downsides here?
Well an economist interviewed by the Wall Street Journal says that if job opening continue to increase but the pool of workers does not, it could result in a labor shortage and that could put the brakes on U.S. economic growth. For now though, economists say those who are in the market for a new job and who are a good match for the jobs that are available will probably have more power to negotiate salaries and perks than they have in the past.