Job Openings Hit a New Record High in Huge Struggle For Workers

Job openings and openings vs hires both hit new record highs.
Publish date:
Job Openings, Hires, Separations 2021-04

Job Openings and Labor Turnover 

The BLS JOLTs Report shows record number of opening in April.

Key Points

The number of job openings reached a series high of 9.3 million on the last business day of April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 6.1 million. Total separations increased to 5.8 million. Within separations, the quits rate reached a series high of 2.7 percent while the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to a series low of 1.0 percent. 


  • On the last business day of April, the job openings level and rate increased to series highs of 9.3 million (+998,000) and 6.0 percent, respectively. 
  • Job openings increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in accommodation and food services (+349,000), other services (+115,000), and durable goods manufacturing (+78,000). The number of job openings decreased in educational services (-23,000) and in mining and logging (-8,000). 
  • The number of job openings increased in all four regions. 


  •  In April, the number of hires changed little at 6.1 million. The hires rate was unchanged at 4.2 percent. Hires increased in accommodation and food services (+232,000) and in federal government (+10,000). 
  • Hires decreased in construction (-107,000), durable goods manufacturing (-37,000), and educational services (-32,000). 
  • The number of hires was little changed in all four regions.  


  • Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm. 
  • The number of total separations increased to 5.8 million (+324,000). The total separations rate was little changed at 4.0 percent. The total separations level increased in retail trade (+116,000) and in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+60,000). 
  • The quits level and rate increased to series highs of 4.0 million and 2.7 percent, respectively. Quits increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in retail trade (+106,000), professional and business services (+94,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+49,000). 
  • The number of quits increased in the South, Midwest, and West regions. 
  • The number and rate of layoffs and discharges were little changed at 1.4 million and 1.0 percent, respectively. Both the number and rate reached new series lows. 

Job Openings and Hires

Job Openings and Hires 2021-04

Job Openings Minus Hires 

Job Openings Minus Hires 2021-04

Job openings minus hires hit a second consecutive high in April at 3.2 million and 2.3 million in March. 

The previous high was 1.8 million in November of 2018.

In May of 2020 there were 2.8 million more hires than there were openings. The negative pattern is typical in recessions as the chart shows. 

Huge Upward Wage Pressures for Both Skilled and Unskilled Labor

The struggle for workers puts a Huge Upward Wage Pressures for Both Skilled and Unskilled Labor

Also consider Explaining the Shortage of Skilled Workers and Why It Will Get Worse


Job Openings Hit New Record: More Openings than Job Seekers Since March

Job openings hit a new record high. Since March, the number of openings has exceeded the number of people looking.

Job Openings Decline by 284,000 But Still Near Record Highs

September job openings level fell to 7.0 million (-284,000) after reaching a revised series high of 7.3 million in Aug.

JOLTS: Record Job Openings vs. Hires, Two Interpretations

Job openings exceed new hires by a whopping 1.352 million. What's it mean?

Job Openings Unexpectedly Decline by 123,000

Job openings unexpectedly declined for the third month but the number of openings is still historically elevated.

Job Openings Decline 7.8%, Most Since 2015

Job Openings fell by 538,000 to 7.1 million.

Number of Job Openings Falling Dramatically

The number of Job Openings is down since the beginning of the year. Hires are up

Steepest 2-Month Plunge in Job Openings Ever

The BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows the steepest decline ever in job openings.

JOLTS: Jobs Openings and Turnover Little Changed

Every month the BLS reports on jobs openings and turnovers. Let's take a look.

Secular Disinflationary Trend Hits New Highs: Deflation on Deck? What’s That Mean for Gold?

Wage and CPI inflation, even core inflation, has surprised to the downside four consecutive months. If a recession hits, and that is just a matter of time, outright price deflation is likely.