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U.S. Job Openings Reached Record Level This Spring

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Available jobs in the U.S. climbed further above pre-pandemic levels last month following a record surge earlier in the spring, a sign of strong demand for workers—with leisure and hospitality sectors showing the most growth in openings.

Openings continued to grow in May, according to job search site That followed an increase of nearly 1 million unfilled positions in April, to 9.3 million, the highest level on records back to 2000, according to a Labor Department report released Tuesday. Open positions nearly matched the 9.8 million Americans who were unemployed, but searching for work during the month.

Both private and government measures showed surging demand for restaurant, hotel and other service-sector workers.

Indeed data showed the number of overall postings at the end of May was 27% above February 2020’s, from up 23% at the end of April. The gains were led by growing help-wanted ads for jobs in food service, hospitality and tourism and loading and stocking, the latter reflecting the continued strength of online shopping.

The number of openings in May declined in construction and plateaued in recent weeks in manufacturing. Those sectors were among the first to return to pre-pandemic levels of openings late last summer. The Indeed data also showed openings for retail jobs nearly held steady last month after strong gains earlier in the year.


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