The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed that job openings jumped to 5.75 million in July – the highest level since the series began in December 2000.
Notably, job openings have been rising at a faster rate than job hires, which you can see in the chart below, shared by an Oppenheimer research team in a recent note to clients.
And that’s significant, the team wrote, because it suggests that employers might not be finding skilled and/or qualified candidates for open positions.
“In our view, the persistently higher growth rate in openings compared to hires since 2009 suggests that employers are having difficulty finding workers with the skills and education needed in today’s workplace,” argued the Oppenheimer team led by chief market strategist John Stoltzfus. “It would also support further growth in hiring in the months ahead.”
For what it’s worth, the Dallas Federal Reserve’s July report on business activity included some choice quotes from business professionals in Texas lamenting the shortage of quality labor.
“Entry-level candidates cannot read or follow instructions. Most cannot do simple math problems. What is wrong with the educational system?” one respondent in chemical manufacturing according to the report.
In any case, check out the chart from Oppenheimer below.
- Oppenheimer Asset Management Research