U.S. job openings surged by nearly one million to a new record high in April, while more people voluntarily left their employment, strengthening the view that a recent moderation in job growth was due to supply constraints.
The Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report, on Tuesday also showed layoffs hit a record low in April. Millions of unemployed Americans remain at home because of trouble securing child care, generous unemployment benefits and lingering fears over COVID-19 even as vaccines are widely accessible and the pandemic is subsiding.
“The evidence continues to grow that the lackluster job creation of recent months is a result of constraints on labor supply and that the labor market is tight,” said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economic advisor at Brean Capital in New York.
Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased by 998,000 to 9.3 million on the last day of April, the highest level since the series began in December 2000.