“All the sugar, and twice the caffeine.” Those of us of a certain age will recognize immediately the iconic tagline of JOLT Cola. And while we haven’t had a can of JOLT Cola in years (fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how one feels about highly caffeinated, sugary, carbonated beverages, JOLT Cola is no more), we did write about JOLT Cola a couple years ago. We used it as a jumping off point for a closer look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Survey – affectionately referred to as JOLTS.
Back then, our focus was on a strengthening jobs market as indicated by more job openings than Americans looking for work. This week, our focus is once again on a strengthening jobs market as indicated by the April JOLTS survey showing a record 9.3 million job openings, nearly two million more than the pre-pandemic period high (and more than the number of Americans currently looking for work). The April JOLTS Survey also showed 4 million “quits,” or people voluntarily leaving a job – another record for the survey and another indicator of a strengthening jobs market.
One can debate why there seems to be a disconnect between the staffing needs of companies across the country and the ability of those companies to solve for those staffing needs. Among other reasons, it could be health concerns of unemployed workers, enhanced unemployment insurance, or a mismatch between worker skills and company needs, as we have written about of late. Either way, for the economy to continue to recover at a rapid rate and for wage inflation to remain in check, we will likely need to pull millions of Americans back into the labor market, and soon.
Tagged: Tim Holland, weekly wire, market perspectives, U.S. economic growth