The number of job openings in the United States rose by 749,000 to 10.9 million in late July, a number that federal labor statistics officials described as a “series high.”
The news points to the potential for connections between employers on the hunt for help and thousands of individuals who have just lost access to unemployment benefits that had been extended during the ongoing pandemic.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday morning included the Northeast among the areas of the U.S. where job openings increased. The largest increases in openings showed up in health care and social assistance (+294,000); finance and insurance (+116,000); and accommodation and food services (+115,000).
There was little change in the number of hires in July, with 6.7 million hires reported, and hires down in retail trade (-277,000), and educational services (-23,000). Hires increased in state and local government/education (+33,000) and in the federal government (+21,000), the bureau reported.
Labor officials reported that about 4 million people quit their jobs in July, with a quit rate they described as unchanged from previous reports. Layoffs and discharges were also “little changed” at 1.5 million.
Officials reported a net employment gain of 7 million over the 12 months ending in July, after accounting for 72.6 million hires and 65.6 million job “separations.”
State labor officials have amplified their efforts to help people find jobs in the weeks leading up to Saturday’s end of enhanced jobless benefits for 300,000 people in Massachusetts.