The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for July, which shows the persistent gap between open manufacturing positions and available skilled workers—even amid a pandemic. According to the survey, the manufacturing industry saw 408,000 manufacturing job openings in July—an increase of more than 60,000 jobs since the prior month and the best result since February, before widespread COVID-19 restrictions came into effect.
A few more numbers:
- Nonfarm business job openings rose from 6,001,000 in June to 6,618,000 in July, which was also the strongest pace since February (7,004,000).
- Net hiring remained weak, with manufacturers taking on 321,000 workers in July, down sharply from 432,000 in June.
- Nonfarm business layoffs decreased from 1,995,000 in June to 1,721,000 in July, which represents the slowest pace since March 2019 (1,698,000). Meanwhile, layoffs in the manufacturing sector declined from 184,000 to 157,000.
What the numbers mean: According to NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, “This suggests that firms are once again increasing their interest in adding new workers, even as the sector attempts to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and the overall labor market has changed dramatically.”
Related: Applications for state unemployment benefits failed to decline as expected in July, Bloomberg reports.