July 7, 2020

The  Labor Department reported that job openings rose 8.0% in May to 5,397 thousand after having declined 16.9% in April and 14.2% in March.  As the economic expansion, which began in May, gathers momentum the number of job openings will rise gradually during the next couple of months.

As shown in the chart below, there are currently 3.9 unemployed workers for every available job.  Not a great time to be looking for a job but it will get better as the summer progresses.

The Labor Department also reported that hires in May rose 14.1% in May to 6,487 thousand.  But that follows declines in hiring of 32.6% in April and 10.2% in March.  While it surged in May, which is a good thing, the fact that employers almost stopped hiring bodies in March and April, the May outcome merely confirms that the recession ended in April and that the business people needed to re-hire many of those that they had laid off in the two prior months.It should drop back to something a bit on the low side in the next couple of months.  5,500 perhaps?

Stephen Slifer


Charleston, SC