Are employers more willing to hire at the moment than they were a few months ago?
Absolutely, according to the latest federal data, which showed that there were three unemployed people for every job opening in the U.S. in June.
That was down from 3.9 in May and 4.6 in April, an improving trend that tracked the reopening of much of the economy.
There’s been a lot of comparisons to our current downturn to the Great Recession. But even at their worst, these numbers don’t rival those from the second half of 2009. At that point, over six unemployed people were competing for every job opening. And the ratio remained high for years, not falling to 3-to-1 until early 2013.
Looking forward, we anticipate the growth in job openings will continue to translate into new hires, suggesting broad swaths of the economy are rebounding.
At the end of June, there were 5.9 million openings – about 518,000 more than May – with the strong demand for workers in restaurants and hotels. In fact, the new data showed that, in July, the leisure and hospitality industry added over half a million jobs, more than any sector.
In June, food and lodging companies reported 719,000 openings, the equivalent of 6.4% of its worker base. That’s higher than the 4.1% openings rate for all industries, and higher than the rate from a year ago.
Twenty-two million jobs were lost to the COVID-19 outbreak in March and April. In the past three months, 9.3 million jobs have been regained.
A full recovery, of course, isn’t expected until the virus can be brought under full control.