U.S. Job Openings Steadily Decrease Since 2021

Job Openings
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U.S. job openings have fallen to a new low since 2021 but are still holding strong amid a slower economy and high interest rates.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its job openings and labor turnover summary for the month of April, reporting 8.1 million vacancies. This figure has decreased since March, when BLS officials reported 8.4 million openings.

The downward trend may seem alarming, especially compared to the high point reached in March 2022, when there were about 12.2 million vacancies. The COVID-19 lockdowns and the struggling economy played considerable roles in this ballooning figure. Prior to the first quarter of 2021, job openings had never exceeded 8 million, which has been the case now for the last 38 months.

Despite the high number of job openings over the last several years, the nation’s labor market has continued to grow stronger. When interest rates increased back in March 2022 to combat inflation, the unemployment rate and borrowing costs were expected to put the economy on track for a recession. While public opinion currently shows overwhelming pessimism about the economy, experts have tended towards more mixed views.

In spite of the interest rate hikes, employers have continued hiring people. As covered previously by The Dallas Express, the U.S. economy also expanded, with an annualized 3.4% recorded in Q4 2023.

According to BLS data, the unemployment rate has been holding steady below the 4% mark for 27 consecutive months. If the streak continues, it may very well beat out the longest run of 35 consecutive months logged during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953, according to WFAA.

Earlier this year, Texas saw record-breaking job growth, as covered by The Dallas Express. The Texas Workforce Commission reported a seasonally adjusted count increase of 18,900 jobs in January for a total of 14,053,400 jobs.

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