The number of unfilled positions/job openings was at a record high in July 2017, continuing a trend that has been in place for many years. The monthly JOLTS report, or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, shows that for each person who is seeking employment that there is an open job out there.
To put the strength of the job market in perspective, consider that in 2009 there was only one open position for every seven-people seeking work. That was at the height of the most recent recession. That means 7 candidates were in effect seeking the same position! Now the equation has tilted much more into favor of employees, as for every person seeking work there is a job available for them.
The unemployment rate as of August 2017 was 4.3%, which is technically full employment according to most economist. The rate can’t go much lower than that. This partially helps explain why employers are having so much trouble in filling positions; the lack of able bodied adults out there. Since there is in effect on opening for each unemployed person, employers do not have much to select from.
Where can unemployed people find a job in July 2017?
Per the JOTS report, there are open positions in all sorts of field and careers. But the demand for IT, health care, and skilled manufacturing positions tend to be the most difficult to fill. Other career fields are also in high demand. But since the unemployed rate is down to 4.3%, corporations are having many difficulties in those career fields.
Health Care/Social Services shows a percent unfilled percent of 5.1%. That means that for every 100 people in that field, there are 5.1 open positions. Nurses, doctors, hygienist, billers, and other career fields make up this category.
The July 2017 JOLTS report shows that professional services are the 4th category in demand. Those would include IT positions, web developers, architects, professional office workers, and those positions with high skills sets needed. There are also 5.1 positions open for each 100 current jobs.
The other careers that round out the JOLTS report include Education at #5, Finance/insurance at #7, Information at #8. As you can see most of these are more advanced positions. As another example, ¾ of contractors that are in the western US are having a hard time in finding qualified candidates. Yes, that is correct…75%!
The JOLTS report shows that companies of all sizes are having the same difficulty. National Federation of Independent Businesses, which tends to track small growing businesses, reports that finding qualified people is the most difficult it has been since 2001…yes, 16 years. So not only are large companies such as Google, large hospitals, etc. struggling to find able bodied adults, but small start-ups (that present tremendous opportunities for workers) have the same challenges.
As we have reported multiple times, there is a major skill gap in what American workers can do vs. what employers need them to do. There are also hundreds of thousands of substance and drug abusers, including countless people on Opioids, that basically makes that population unemployable. For those Americans that do have skills and/or education, most of them either do not fall into the latest trends of what companies need, or maybe the candidate does not live in a place where companies are located.
If you are out of work, or unhappy with your current career/field, there is a one for one ratio out there. Get feedback as to why you are not being hired, take a honest assessment of yourself, and go get a job! Countless employers are hiring!