In case we needed more proof that the US labor market is in a historic supply-demand mismatch crisis sparked by Biden's generous unemployment benefits, a few hours after the latest NFIB showed that it has never been more difficult for small business to fill job openings, moments ago the BLS confirmed what we expected: that the number of job openings in March (recall JOLTS is one month delayed) soared by a record 998K to 9.286MM in April from an upward revised 8.288MM in march, and the highest in the history of US jobs data!
The record number was also a record beat to the already lofty expectations of a 8.2 million print.
Looking at the details, the increase in job openings was driven by a number of industries with the largest increases in accommodation and food services (+349,000), other services (+115,000), and durable goods manufacturing (+78,000). The number of job openings decreased in educational services (-23,000) and in mining and logging (-8,000). The number of job openings increased in all four regions
Separately, in yet another indication of the record surge in demand for labor since the collapse last April when there were 18.1 million more unemployed workers than there are job openings - the biggest gap on record - the gap has since shrunk dramatically to just 526K in April, down from 1.4 million in March. Yes: despite the covid shock, there are just half a million more unemployed people than there are job openings!
As a result, there has been even more continued improvement in the job availability series, and in April there were jus 1.06 unemployed workers for every job opening, down from 1.19 in March, down from 1.35 in February and from 4.6 at the peak crisis moment last April.
Meanwhile, confirming the accelerating in the hiring picture as covid lockdowns were lifted, in April hiring surged for a 4th consecutive month to 6.075MM, up from 6.009MM in March.
According to the BLS, hires increased in accommodation and food services (+232,000) and in federal government (+10,000). Hires decreased in construction (-107,000), durable goods manufacturing (-37,000), and educational services (-32,000).
Curiously, as hires soared, total separations also increased to 5.8 million (+324,000). The total separations rate was little changed at 4.0 percent. The total separations level increased in retail trade (+116,000) and in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+60,000).
Finally, confirming the overheating in the labor market sparked by "Biden's trillions" and the tsunami of unemployment benefits which has prompted a wave of revulsion toward work in general, in April the level of quits - or people leaving their job voluntarily due to better prospects elsewhere - soared by a whopping 384K to a record 3.985 million, after rising by 185K and 77K in the previous two months. The number of quits increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in retail trade (+106,000), professional and business services (+94,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+49,000).