For First Time Ever, US Has More Job Openings Than Unemployed Workers

 

While the DC press corps worries whether Trump was booed at a White House event and curates elaborate conspiracy theories about Melania, a slightly more important story isn’t getting enough pixels. The economy is doing so well that, for the first time ever, there are now more job openings in the US than unemployed Americans:

With employers struggling to fill openings, the number of available jobs in April rose 1 percent to 6.7 million from 6.6 million in March, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s the most since records began in December 2000.

The figures underscore the consistent strength of the nation’s job market. The unemployment rate has reached an 18-year low of 3.8 percent. Employers have added jobs for a record 92 straight months. And the abundance of openings suggests that hiring will continue and that the unemployment rate will fall even further. Not since December 1969, when the rate was 3.5 percent, has unemployment been lower than it is now.

Employers appear confident about the economic outlook and growth. Analysts expect faster consumer spending to help accelerate growth to roughly a 3.5 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, after growth had lagged slightly in the first three months of the year.

For eight years, the press enthused about Obama’s promised “recovery summers,” which never seemed to materialize. Now that the economy is roaring back to life, the same reporters debate the NFL’s national anthem problem and spin increasingly ludicrous Russian storylines.

As the midterms approach, will voters care more about the DC distraction of the day or the extra money in their wallets?

Published in Economics
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 30 comments.

  1. Thatcher

    But … but … Europe doesn’t respect us anymore.

    • #1
    • June 5, 2018 at 3:49 pm
    • 13 likes
  2. Member

    Trump’s fault.

    (No, really.)

    • #2
    • June 5, 2018 at 4:13 pm
    • 4 likes
  3. Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    But … but … Europe doesn’t respect us anymore.

    They never did…they just pretended to. 

    • #3
    • June 5, 2018 at 4:19 pm
    • 5 likes
  4. Inactive

    What’s the labor force participation rate at. Historically. 

    • #4
    • June 5, 2018 at 4:20 pm
    • 3 likes
  5. Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    What’s the labor force participation rate at. Historically.

    Still down.

    • #5
    • June 5, 2018 at 4:29 pm
    • 4 likes
  6. Member

    The King Prawn (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    What’s the labor force participation rate at. Historically.

    Still down.

    Yes -after the last decade of this, I want to know the participation rate, too, before getting excited. This seems to be, at best, staunching the bleeding. Not even necessarily stopping the bleeding. Good sign. Not the best sign.

    • #6
    • June 5, 2018 at 6:12 pm
    • 4 likes
  7. Member

    Matt Harris (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    But … but … Europe doesn’t respect us anymore.

    They never did…they just pretended to.

    And they were bad actors.

     

    • #7
    • June 5, 2018 at 7:10 pm
    • Like
  8. Member

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    The King Prawn (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    What’s the labor force participation rate at. Historically.

    Still down.

    Yes -after the last decade of this, I want to know the participation rate, too, before getting excited. This seems to be, at best, staunching the bleeding. Not even necessarily stopping the bleeding. Good sign. Not the best sign.

    To be fair, some of the decline in the labor force participation rate are baby boom retirees. But not all. There is a big dip in the participation rate among the 25-54 age group … especially males. This group is kind’a old to be hiding out in graduate school and kind’a young to be retired. These should be the prime earning years … not sure what is up with this group, but it exists.

    • #8
    • June 5, 2018 at 7:17 pm
    • 7 likes
  9. Inactive

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    The King Prawn (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    What’s the labor force participation rate at. Historically.

    Still down.

    Yes -after the last decade of this, I want to know the participation rate, too, before getting excited. This seems to be, at best, staunching the bleeding. Not even necessarily stopping the bleeding. Good sign. Not the best sign.

    This is still amazing news. Just not as amazing as it’s being spun. 

    • #9
    • June 5, 2018 at 10:39 pm
    • 2 likes
  10. Thatcher

    And yet my laid off friend is still struggling to find a job. 

     

    • #10
    • June 6, 2018 at 12:08 am
    • Like
  11. Thatcher

    Percival (View Comment):

    But … but … Europe doesn’t respect us anymore.

    Which can only give Lefties the sads. Those of us who are temperamentally American have been, and always ought to be, unconcerned with what citizens of lesser countries think of the U.S. 

    • #11
    • June 6, 2018 at 1:11 am
    • 1 like
  12. Member

    Good time to start cutting welfare and other stuff that keeps folks out of the work force like minimum wages so those employers looking for workers can hire people to learn on the job.

    • #12
    • June 6, 2018 at 2:59 am
    • 1 like
  13. Member

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Sabrdance (View Comment):

    The King Prawn (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    What’s the labor force participation rate at. Historically.

    Still down.

    Yes -after the last decade of this, I want to know the participation rate, too, before getting excited. This seems to be, at best, staunching the bleeding. Not even necessarily stopping the bleeding. Good sign. Not the best sign.

    To be fair, some of the decline in the labor force participation rate are baby boom retirees. But not all. There is a big dip in the participation rate among the 25-54 age group … especially males. This group is kind’a old to be hiding out in graduate school and kind’a young to be retired. These should be the prime earning years … not sure what is up with this group, but it exists.

    I’ve got two sons in that age group and they are working their tales off. So, I didn’t do it!

    • #13
    • June 6, 2018 at 4:51 am
    • 1 like
  14. Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    But … but … Europe doesn’t respect us anymore.

    The editors at die Welt and die Bild Zeitung seem to. Even some of them at FOCUS. As for Der Spiegel and Die Zeit….eh…they hated Bush, too. Die Süddeutsche, lamentably, has degenerated into a sickening pit of well-nigh Stürmer-esque Antisemitism thinly disguised as criticism of Israel. But that is another story. 

    • #14
    • June 6, 2018 at 5:03 am
    • 1 like
  15. Inactive

    The King Prawn (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    What’s the labor force participation rate at. Historically.

    Still down.

    Going by the chart in that link, it looks like it hasn’t recovered to pre-recession numbers, but it’s at least stabilized, which means the gains are mostly from hiring. Personally, I’d rather see the participation rate rise even if it means taking the unemployment rate up with it, but this is better than nothing.

    • #15
    • June 6, 2018 at 5:54 am
    • 1 like
  16. Contributor

    Don’t worry, everybody. Once those tariffs kick in and the system of international commerce that is the basis of our material prosperity starts to break down, then unemployment will go back up.

    • #16
    • June 6, 2018 at 6:52 am
    • Like
  17. Member

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Don’t worry, everybody. Once those tariffs kick in and the system of international commerce that is the basis of our material prosperity starts to break down, then unemployment will go back up.

    Hi Fred. Are you familiar with the concepts of delayed gratification? Thinking beyond the next quarter? Negotiation? Tit-for-Tat strategic behavior in a repeated game?

    Or maybe the most important thing is saving 8 dollars this week on some jeans made in Honduras or sneakers from Vietnam.

    • #17
    • June 6, 2018 at 8:35 am
    • 1 like
  18. Inactive

    This would be the moment to start cutting welfare back to get people into jobs. Even if you did it just a small bit at a time, we could see what our markets can handle.

    • #18
    • June 6, 2018 at 8:49 am
    • 2 likes
  19. Inactive

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Don’t worry, everybody. Once those tariffs kick in and the system of international commerce that is the basis of our material prosperity starts to break down, then unemployment will go back up.

    Hi Fred. Are you familiar with the concepts of delayed gratification? Thinking beyond the next quarter? Negotiation? Tit-for-Tat strategic behavior in a repeated game?

    Or maybe the most important thing is saving 8 dollars this week on some jeans made in Honduras or sneakers from Vietnam.

    It’s not up to you or any central planner to decide who wants to save $8 on jeans this week. For many that’s the difference between eating and not. 

    • #19
    • June 6, 2018 at 9:24 am
    • 3 likes
  20. Member

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Don’t worry, everybody. Once those tariffs kick in and the system of international commerce that is the basis of our material prosperity starts to break down, then unemployment will go back up.

    Hi Fred. Are you familiar with the concepts of delayed gratification? Thinking beyond the next quarter? Negotiation? Tit-for-Tat strategic behavior in a repeated game?

    Or maybe the most important thing is saving 8 dollars this week on some jeans made in Honduras or sneakers from Vietnam.

    It’s not up to you or any central planner to decide who wants to save $8 on jeans this week. For many that’s the difference between eating and not.

    Who knows? Without those “central planners” we might still be making our own jeans. Just imagine if China cut off our jean source. Then what would we wear ?

    • #20
    • June 6, 2018 at 3:02 pm
    • Like
  21. Inactive

    cdor (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Don’t worry, everybody. Once those tariffs kick in and the system of international commerce that is the basis of our material prosperity starts to break down, then unemployment will go back up.

    Hi Fred. Are you familiar with the concepts of delayed gratification? Thinking beyond the next quarter? Negotiation? Tit-for-Tat strategic behavior in a repeated game?

    Or maybe the most important thing is saving 8 dollars this week on some jeans made in Honduras or sneakers from Vietnam.

    It’s not up to you or any central planner to decide who wants to save $8 on jeans this week. For many that’s the difference between eating and not.

    Who knows? Without those “central planners” we might still be making our own jeans. Just imagine if China cut off our jean source. Then what would we wear ?

    Pants made by me!

    • #21
    • June 6, 2018 at 3:04 pm
    • 1 like
  22. Contributor

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    Or maybe the most important thing is saving 8 dollars this week on some jeans made in Honduras or sneakers from Vietnam.

    Is that what you think it’s about?

    Tariffs are the one thing Trump has done that’s more upsetting to me than anything else. 

    This is what world trade looks like:

    It really started cranking after 1990 and again after 2000.

    Here’s a second chart:

    If you want to translate that, the number of humans living in extreme poverty fell by 137,000 people yesterday. And every other day,for the last 25 years.

    Trade is what you can thank for that. I don’t care about cheap jeans. I care that billions of my fellow humans no longer live in extreme poverty. 

    Donald Trump is on the precipice of blowing of this well established system of global trade with this idiotic tariff stuff. He has no [expletive] idea how the system works, what he is doing, or the risks involved.

     

    • #22
    • June 7, 2018 at 4:00 am
    • Like
  23. Member

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    If you want to translate that, the number of humans living in extreme poverty fell by 137,000 people yesterday. And every other day,for the last 25 years.

    Trade is what you can thank for that. I don’t care about cheap jeans. I care that billions of my fellow humans no longer live in extreme poverty

    Fred, I will tell you that I felt exactly the same as you in my yute. I thought that by doing business with the Chinese, for example, we could make the world more peaceful as we increased their middle class and helped create more wealth for them. It does seem to be working in India. But as I have grown long of tooth, as they say, I have seen our own country give up its ability to make things and the jobs that are connected to that effort. It’s a certain kind of inner strength and pride that comes along with that ability. It’s wearing us down as a nation. The Chinese have grown exponential wealth and have not become any less belligerent. We need to become more concerned about our own self preservation again–re balance the scales. These tariffs being proposed are the bargaining chips in the negotiations. In the past we could afford to allow beneficently other nations certain advantages. Our politicians were being influenced by large corporations that had a lot to gain and the power to achieve those gains. Our people don’t have that power. They lost their jobs and many have not been able to adapt. As important, our nation cannot build critical things anymore. I don’t believe we have the industrial power to gear up like we did in WWII. The main transformers operating our electrical grid, are only made in Germany and South Korea. The status quo has create a trend that is leading to an America that will be number 2. That is not just dangerous for us. It is dangerous for the entire world. 

    • #23
    • June 7, 2018 at 6:55 am
    • Like
  24. Contributor

    cdor (View Comment):

    But as I have grown long of tooth, as they say, I have seen our own country give up its ability to make things and the jobs that are connected to that effort. It’s a certain kind of inner strength and pride that comes along with that ability. It’s wearing us down as a nation.

    Okay, so this whole “we don’t make thing anymore” is just not accurate. 

    It bobs around and it depends on how you count things, but do you know what share of the world’s manufacturing output it done by the US?

    20%

    And it was 20% two decades ago. It was 20% fifty years ago. It’s been pretty consistently 20% for decades now. We still make things, we just make different things. And instead of gigantic mills making textiles for mass consumption, we have a smaller manufacturing sector making specialized products.

    The dramatic change is that we make that 20% with fewer and fewer manufacturing jobs. That’s okay because it means each individual worker is more productive. It’s kind of like how 90% of the US workforce used to be engaged in farming. Now its in the single digits. 

    The Chinese have grown exponential wealth and have not become any less belligerent. We need to become more concerned about our own self preservation again–re balance the scales.

    Okay, so you think, as an aspect of self preservation, we need to protect ourselves from the Chinese?

    Two things:

    1. The PRC has grown enormously wealthy in the last quarter century because they trade with the United States. A shooting war with the United States would devastate their economy because we are central to their economic growth.
    2. If you’re really concerned about checking the Chinese, the way to do that would be to join the TPP and create an American lead trading block as against the Chinese.

     

    These tariffs being proposed are the bargaining chips in the negotiations. In the past we could afford to allow beneficently other nations certain advantages. 

    In the past? Dude, we are literally more wealthy as a nation than we have ever been before. Poor people have iPhones. If we could afford it in the past, why suddenly can we not afford it now.

    Our politicians were being influenced by large corporations that had a lot to gain and the power to achieve those gains. Our people don’t have that power. They lost their jobs and many have not been able to adapt.

    And so the solution is to make their lives materially worse by limiting their economic opportunities and making the goods they buy more expensive?

    Also, wrt to people who lost their jobs, I need to point you to the title of the thread you’re commenting on: For First Time Ever, US Has More Job Openings Than Unemployed Workers.

    As important, our nation cannot build critical things anymore. I don’t believe we have the industrial power to gear up like we did in WWII.

    Okay, so you think that of WW3 breaks out, and for some reason it’s going to last several years instead of being over in six weeks (which is far more likely), and we burn through our existing stock of weaponry, and we’re cut off from all our allies, that we wouldn’t be able to figure out how to build things? 

     

    The main transformers operating our electrical grid, are only made in Germany and South Korea. The status quo has create a trend that is leading to an America that will be number 2. That is not just dangerous for us. It is dangerous for the entire world. 

    You get that, despite what our fool President may claim, countries like Germany, South Korea, and Canada are allies right?

    So it’s dangerous for the world that only our allies produce transformers for our electrical grid? Assuming we somehow went to war with Germany and South Korea (because they form an axis or something), you don’t think we’d be able to build electrical transformers here? Do you think America is that fragile? That lacking in ingenuity? 

     

    • #24
    • June 7, 2018 at 7:44 am
    • Like
  25. Member

    You have made some points, but I am having difficulty ignoring a real snotty attitude…Dude…so I will stop here. 

    • #25
    • June 7, 2018 at 8:15 am
    • Like
  26. Thatcher

    Fred Cole (View Comment):
    If you want to translate that, the number of humans living in extreme poverty fell by 137,000 people yesterday. And every other day,for the last 25 years.

    Some of that has been at the expense of the working class in the West. I think we should at least acknowledge that fact.

    I will say, I am all for the great decrease in poverty in the world, and I wish all our leaders, on both sides of the asile, around the world even, would trumpet that fact. 

    The West is the best thing to happen to Mankind, ever. And America is its avatar. 

    • #26
    • June 7, 2018 at 9:57 am
    • Like
  27. Contributor

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Some of that has been at the expense of the working class in the West. I think we should at least acknowledge that fact.

     

    The same working class who now has iPhones in their pockets, air conditioners in their home, and big screen TVs?

    Sorry. This whole thing about how the working class is America lives some kind of desperate Dickensian existence doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

    They’ve seen a dramatic increase of their material wealth in the last quarter century. So I’m not sure how it can be said to be “at their expense.”

    • #27
    • June 7, 2018 at 10:25 am
    • Like
  28. Contributor

    cdor (View Comment):

    You have made some points, but I am having difficulty ignoring a real snotty attitude…Dude…so I will stop here.

    If you have some counter arguments to make, just make them. 

    • #28
    • June 7, 2018 at 10:27 am
    • Like
  29. Thatcher

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Some of that has been at the expense of the working class in the West. I think we should at least acknowledge that fact.

     

    The same working class who now has iPhones in their pockets, air conditioners in their home, and big screen TVs?

    Sorry. This whole thing about how the working class is America lives some kind of desperate Dickensian existence doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

    They’ve seen a dramatic increase of their material wealth in the last quarter century. So I’m not sure how it can be said to be “at their expense.”

    First off, I did not say it was Dickensian. That is your words not mine. 

    Let me be more clear on what I mean: Part of the disparity of the rise, between the working class and upper class (i.e. the upper class has risen faster than the working class) was caused by the rise of the 3rd World. In short, the working class could be even better off than they are. Acknowledging that fact in no way is making an argument that it should not have happened, or that I am calling for any change in course. It is simply stating the truth. 

    Futhermore, my post said something with which I thought you would agree:

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I will say, I am all for the great decrease in poverty in the world, and I wish all our leaders, on both sides of the asile, around the world even, would trumpet that fact. 

    The West is the best thing to happen to Mankind, ever. And America is its avatar. 

    Apparently, anything other than full throated agreement with you is to be attacked right? :)

     

    • #29
    • June 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    • 1 like
  30. Thatcher

    Speaking of truths we won’t talk about: We would be better off stating on the left and the right, just as much as we need to face the face that in today’s world, there are less and less things for people with an IQ below 85 to do for work. Not everyone can just go get a job, and putting them on the dole does not work. This is going to be a growing problem. We should talk about it.

    • #30
    • June 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm
    • 2 likes