Make us your home page
Instagram

U.S. companies post most jobs in 7 years in May

Desirae Gooch, left, fills out an application for a nurse’s assistant job with other job seekers last month at the Cleveland Career Fair in Independence, Ohio.

Associated Press

Desirae Gooch, left, fills out an application for a nurse’s assistant job with other job seekers last month at the Cleveland Career Fair in Independence, Ohio.

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers advertised more jobs in May than in any month in the past seven years, a sign that this year's strong hiring trend is likely to continue.

More Americans also quit their jobs, a good sign because it usually occurs when workers find new and higher-paying jobs. It also opens up more positions for those out of work.

Employers posted 4.64 million jobs, a 3.8 percent increase from April's total of 4.46 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That's the fourth straight strong gain and is the highest number since June 2007.

The figures come after last week's healthy jobs report and underscore this year's steady improvement in hiring. Employers added a net total of 288,000 jobs in June, the government said last week, the fifth straight month of gains above 200,000. That's the first such stretch in 15 years. The unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 6.1 percent.

Tuesday's report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, offers a more complete picture of the job market. It reports figures for overall hiring, as well as the number of quits and layoffs. The monthly jobs figures are a net total of job gains or losses.

Some details of the report weren't as encouraging. Employers have been slow to fill their open jobs, which suggests they are having trouble finding workers with the right skills.

Total hiring actually slipped in May, to 4.72 million from 4.77 million in April.

But the number of people quitting their jobs rose 60,000 to 2.5 million, the highest level since June 2008. More quits indicate workers are confident about their job prospects.

In the past year, job openings have increased nearly 20 percent, but total hiring has risen just 4 percent.

Some economists say that is a sign that many of those out of work don't have the skills needed for the available jobs. Former construction workers or factory employees, for example, may not be able to fill new jobs in health care or other growing fields.

Others argue that companies will have to offer higher pay to attract the workers they need. That could boost overall wages, which have barely kept up with inflation since the recession ended five years ago.

There are other signs that pay could rise soon. There are now 2.1 unemployed workers, on average, for every job opening. That is the ratio that typically exists in a healthy economy and indicates employers may have to try harder to fill jobs, perhaps by boosting salaries.

"We think the result is going to be a pickup in wage growth," said Cooper Howes, U.S. economist at Barclays Capital.

U.S. companies post most jobs in 7 years in May 07/08/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 9:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Government

    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]
  2. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports

    Airlines

    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]
  3. Gov. Scott backs off boycott of companies doing business in Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will ask the Florida Cabinet next month to prohibit the state's investment managers from doing something they already do not do: invest in companies or securities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miami. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  4. Superior Uniform Group reports $65.6 million in sales for second quarter

    Corporate

    SEMINOLE — Superior Uniform Group Inc. reported sales of $65.6 million in net sales for the second quarter, up a percentage point from the same quarter last year, the Seminole-based company reported Thursday.

    Superior Uniform Group Inc. saw a sales increase for the second quarter, the company reported Thursday. Pictured is Michael Benstock, CEO. | [Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  5. Air bag inflator ruptures, driver killed in Pasco County

    Autos

    DETROIT — Automaker Honda says a driver from Pasco County died in a crash earlier this month that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator.

    Honda says a driver near Tampa has died in a crash that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator. 
[Associated Press]