A record amount of job openings indicates that structural unemployment is causing a skills mismatch. Are employers ready to reskill workers to adapt to technological change?
A notable thing happened in the U.S. workforce in April. For the first time since the Labor Department started keeping track in 2000, there were more job openings than unemployed people.
The number of openings hit a record 6.7 million for the month, exceeding the number of jobless by 352,000. This comes as unemployment sits at 3.8 percent, a rate last seen in 2000 and seen only twice in 50 years.
So, we have record openings and a low jobless rate. What’s going on? I turned to Beth Ann Bovino, the Chief U.S. Economist for S&P Global in New York, for an answer. “I think a big factor is probably a skills mismatch. An indicator that really points to this is the Beveridge curve — job openings compared to the unemployment rate. Usually, when employment’s high, job openings are down, and when the unemployment rate’s low, job openings are up.”