There Are More Job Openings Now Than There Have Been For 4 Years

Get your resume spiffed up and your best interview outfit ironed — there are more job openings in the U.S. than there have been in almost four years. In March, employers were looking for people to fill positions at a rate that hasn’t been seen since July 2008.

Bloomberg News says the increase in job openings shows growing confidence in the U.S. economy. The amount of open jobs increased by 172,000 to 3.74 million, more than a previous estimate of 3.57 million, said the Labor Department.

Most of the job openings were in the manufacturing industry and government agencies looking to expand.

“Businesses were becoming a bit more willing to commit to new hires,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey, in an interview. “The progress is incremental at best and the levels are still very low.”

Even with more jobs available, the hiring rate held at 3.3%, as the number of actual people hired in March decreased to 4.36 million from 4.4 million in February.

Another sign of the growing economy? People are feeling okay about quitting their jobs, with 2.15 million saying sayonara in March, up from 2.07 million in February. That shows that workers are gaining confidence that they can find other employment as the economy grows.

Know what you can do when you have a job? Buy stuff you need. What happens when you buy stuff? Demand increases, and companies hire more people to fulfill that demand and that means more people get jobs! It’s a happy circle. Yes, that is a simplified version of how it all works, but it’s still good news.

Job Openings in U.S. Rise to Highest Level Since 2008 [Bloomberg News]


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  1. Blueskylaw says:

    “Most of the job openings were in the manufacturing industry”

    Is this dreary, assembly type work?

    • Lethe says:

      Does it matter? It’s a job, and I know a lot of people who’d be happy to have it.

      • prizgrizbiz says:

        If they were just looking for any job, they would work in farmer’s fields, and I hear repeatedly only illlegals are willing to do that work.

        • VintageLydia says:

          Correction: only immigrants (illegal or otherwise) are willing to work for the illegal, below minimum, wages. Even at minimum wage, I doubt most Americans would do the work unless they don’t mind living the same migrant lifestyle. Of course, judging by the comments on the previous post, anyone who willingly lives nomadically are typically considered vagrants and encouraged to avoid such a lifestyle so I guess it’s no wonder Americans aren’t too keen on the idea.

    • FatLynn says:

      Possibly, but these jobs generally pay better than, say, retail work.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        They might pay better, but at least with retail
        work I get 40% off a pair of socks I don’t need.

        • FatLynn says:

          Also, I’m not certain how jobs get classified. Manufacturing companies have IT people and accountants and HR people and marketing people and all sorts of other stuff. If those jobs all get classified as being in the manufacturing industry, than it is possible that a lot of these jobs are not dreary, assembly type work.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            “Manufacturing industry” expressly means “People who perform manual labour producing physical objects,” This usually means assembly-line work that only pays well in states which allow closed union shops.

            • Boiled for your sins says:

              I work for a manufacturer in NJ. Offices are here, actual ‘manual labour producing physical objects’ is done in China.

    • skitzogreg says:

      It’s work.

      • Lyn Torden says:

        Yes, it is work. But if that is all it is, it’s no indication of a better economy. A better economy will increase jobs in every sector that doesn’t have a depricated business model. That is not happening, yet. I suspect the reasoning is businesses are holding the economy hostage to get things they want, like lower pay, Republican control, etc. Note that much of the increase is government jobs, which is the Democrat in Chief trying to make things look better than they really are.

        • failurate says:

          Manufacturing is the core to a successful economy. You can only push paper and fudge numbers for so long, eventually you need an actual physical product.

    • c_c says:

      It likely means increases in all facets of manufacturing … manual labor yes, but also engineers, supervisors, accountants, HR, etc.

    • dush says:

      Dreary assembly work… you mean a paycheck?

  2. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    “Most of the job openings were in the manufacturing industry and government agencies looking to expand.”

    Government agencies looking to expand. Oh boy.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      There is nothing as permanent as a temporary government bureau.

    • sponica says:

      well to be fair, the Dept of Veterans Affairs DOES need to expand, especially it’s mental health service line…

    • rugman11 says:

      Actually, an increase in government employment is probably a good thing because it indicates that tax revenues are increasing either because people are earning more or spending more.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        My pessemistic view is that even though my wages haven’t gone up in what’s coming up on 4 years, I’ll still get taxed more. :(

  3. Extended-Warranty says:

    There are no jobs out there. It’s not my fault my house is underwater. It’s not my fault I’ve been on unemployment for a year. It’s all the government and corporate executives’ fault.

    Well no, I won’t take THAT job. I want to use my degree in medeival architecture.

    • FatLynn says:

      Um, there are still FAR more job-seekers than jobs.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        I think you missed the sarcasm. It’s not your fault people don’t use /s tags.

        • FatLynn says:

          No, I didn’t miss anything. The original commenter is making the point that people shouldn’t be blaming the economy/corporate executives/other people for not getting a job. I am saying that, even though there are more jobs available this month than in previous months, it is still not easy to get a job.

          • crispyduck13 says:

            Ah, well then, my apologies.

          • Extended-Warranty says:

            Sarcasm aside, there are jobs out there. The sense of entitlement is stronger than ever though. Don’t expect to come out of college making $60,000 with a worthless degree and no job experience. I would like to know who ever said getting a high paying job should require little effort or experience? Some people do not understand the concept of starting at the bottom.

            • FatLynn says:

              You keep saying that there are enough jobs out there, but it just isn’t true. From the Brooking’s Institute:

              “From 1951 through 2007, there were never more than three unemployed workers for each job opening, and it was rare for that figure even to hit two-to-one. In contrast, there have been more than three jobseekers per opening in every single month since September 2008. The ratio peaked somewhere between five-to-one and seven-to-one in mid-2009. It has since declined but we have far to go before we return to “normal” levels.”

              According to the NY Dept. of Labor, we’re now down to about 3.3 job seekers per opening. Thus, as the title article says, the situation is improving. However, there are still too many people looking for jobs and too few jobs. People out of work can not just “go get a job at McDonald’s” or whatever.

              • RvLeshrac says:

                According to the conservatives, you should just take whatever job is available, regardless of whether or not it will actually provide enough money to pay for your basic bills and transportation.

            • coffee100 says:

              No there aren’t. There are no jobs out there.

              > Don’t expect to come out of college making $60,000 with a worthless degree and no job experience.

              Why not? Both my parents did. (Adjusted for inflation, of course, but not much)

              > I would like to know who ever said getting a high paying job should require little effort or experience?

              Graduating from a university requires one hell of a lot more than a “little” effort.

              > Some people do not understand the concept of starting at the bottom.

              $60k is chicken #%(* money. Any manager offering $60k to a full-time professional adult is a chicken #%)(*#% manager running a chicken #%)#% company.

      • HomerSimpson says:

        And like the poster below said, most of those “job openings” have unrealistic expectations of experience/education considering what they’re paying.

        “You want somebody with a master’s degree and you’re paying minimum?!?”

    • coffee100 says:

      75% of the classes in a four-year degree are not part of the major.

      It’s one of the things you learn before you graduate.

  4. Starfury says:

    I’m a tech worker and there are a lot of jobs posted….and employers are taking advantage by low balling pay rates and wanting more experience than needed for the job. I’ve seen tech jobs that they want a Bachelors and one certification paying $15/hr and you have to use your own car to go to client sites.

    I’m so glad I have a job and I’m not looking.

    • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

      Yeah I’ve seen jobs posted requiring bachelors, preferring masters, with 15 years experience in everything from programming to networking to hardware as well as management. Paying peanuts as a contract position with no health bennies or overtime though they want the person to put in 60+ hour weeks. Temporary for 6 months.

      If this sort of exploitation is the face of the new job market I want no part of it.

      • jesusofcool says:

        I fully agree with this….there are a lot of jobs out there that are remaining vacant (which helps no one), even in this economy, because the hiring managers want someone with advanced education and experience but don’t want to pay a fair market rate …..or there are other expectations of the job i.e. contract/temporary, weekend/night work, living in a rural or high cost area, that are undesirable to most, especially those with families. In order for the economy to grow, employers need to start being more realistic in their expectations and compensation.

    • Not Given says:
      My son (developer) is making close to 6 figures, counting bonuses, and has only worked there for a little over a year. Plus, living expense is about half of what it was where he moved from.
      How’s your Python?

      • VintageLydia says:

        So does my husband, but I also remember him sifting through hundreds of jobs who wanted more experience than he had offering the aforementioned $15/hour. The COL here is astronomical so it’s even more insulting for these people who have been in the industry for more than a decade. Our favorites were job requirements that asked for, say, 8-10 years experience with a technology that’s only been around for 5.

      • tinmanx says:

        It’s like the lotto. You winning the lotto doesn’t mean everyone else wasn’t trying hard enough.

      • coffee100 says:

        > My son (developer) is making close to 6 figures

        Good for him. Call us back when he turns 25 and wants to skip working weekends once or twice this year.

        > How’s your Python?

        I know Python so cold I could freeze Mount Pinatubo with a dirty look. I couldn’t rent a job. Even if I wanted one.

  5. deathbecomesme says:

    But what about gas prices and the deficit!


  6. crispyduck13 says:

    I have seen a steady uptick in engineering job postings for about a year now. When I scanned the listings on a certain industry website I visit last year it was slim, and I mean sewing needle slim, pickins. Now I see 4x as many postings.

    I work in manufacturing, and business is definitely booming for small consumer product and medical product producers.

  7. matlock expressway says:

    Indeed, I’m looking to hire 10,000 employees at a rate of $0.10 per hour plus tips.

    The job market has never been better due to philanthropists like me.

    Now where’s my ticker tape parade, you ingrates!?

  8. jrwn says:

    I don’t consider government agencys true job creators. Remember, there are more IRS auditors being hired to look for you.

    • ARP says:

      Do you have a cite for that? PS- the stat that they’re hiring 16.5k new agents is false and was made up by the likes of Bachman, Paul, etc.

  9. Harry Greek says:

    Stop it! What are you trying to do!? Get Obama re-elected or something?!?!

  10. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    It doesn’t matter if it’s still hard to find a job, or what sector the jobs are in. There are indeed more openings now than there have been in the past 4 years. All of these arguments are just straw men.

  11. bhr says:

    and yet all the calls I ever get are for Aflac or other insurance or commission only sales gigs.

    • LionMan says:

      If you’re looking for a job that pays minimum wage or less, there’s plenty out there. Of course, commission-only jobs cost the employer very little so they have incentive to hire as many people as they want.

      • bhr says:

        I’ve gotten a different version of the “Stand In a Home Depot and pitch remodels” scam about a dozen times. I am not looking for a job where I have to stand up for 10-12 hours a day (even if I could physically do it) on the chance of making a living wage. I talked to a couple friends who took those jobs out of college. They sell you on “$100k/yr potential” and have reps who talk about making $2000 a week, but if you actually talk to them most make 3-400 a week with the occasional big check. The problem is their reps are so brainwashed that they only remember the big checks and forget the weeks where they are making $5/hr.

  12. DragonThermo says:

    Don’t forget that if you quit your job in hopes of getting one of these new jobs, you’ll also be competing with those who dropped out of the job market (i.e., no longer counted in the government’s unemployment statistics) who are looking to return to the job market.

  13. mcs328 says:

    There are plenty of jobs in Arkansas…or was it Arizona? You just have to be a citizen and pick crops all day.

  14. coffee100 says:

    But they still aren’t going to hire you because American businesses are run my immature and incompetent people who do not know how to employ adults at professional wages.

    You don’t have the skills, education or experience, but they’ll be more than happy to hire a name on a list 12,000 miles away for the same job.

    In other words, hiring managers are frauds and liars.

  15. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I’m trying to avoid the minimum-wage food jobs, although I guess I’ll have to if I have to. My exjob destroyed my shoulders and my elbow is racked. I can’t lift a lot of heavy crap. Heavy samples and boxes, pushing and pulling laterally heavy file folders, piles of paper (paper is heavy), for six years…..I’m probably looking at pain and PT for the rest of my life.

    That doesn’t mean I can’t work. I just had an interview today for a program coordinator job at a non-profit. I liked them; I hope they liked me. I hope the job doesn’t pay crap wages. No matter how much I like their mission, I’ve got bills to pay. And medical and tax bills to pay off. If not that job, something else non-physical. I even have to be careful now how I exercise.

  16. dush says:

    What is the manufacturing?