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The most impressive labor market chart around

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This article first appeared in the Morning Brief. Get the Morning Brief sent directly to your inbox every Monday to Friday by 6:30 a.m. ET. Subscribe

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Job openings continue to explode

The number of jobs open in America continues to explode. 

On Monday, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for June showed some 10.1 million jobs were open at last check, a record for the series which dates back to 2001. This marks the fourth straight month this series has turned in a record high. 

And amid this rise in employment vacancies, a chart showing this surge in demand for workers serves — in our view — as the best distillation of the current state of the labor market. 

There were more than 10 million jobs open at the end of June, the fourth-straight month this series hit a record high. (Source: FRED)
There were more than 10 million jobs open at the end of June, the fourth-straight month this series hit a record high. (Source: FRED)

Last Friday, we learned that hiring in July picked up sharply. The continued rise in job openings again shows us that demand — for goods, services, labor, etc. — is the driving force behind this economic moment

"The reopening of the broader economy has resulted in unprecedented levels of demand for workers," said Nick Bunker, director of research at the Indeed Hiring Lab.

"Job seekers, both jobless and employed, are taking advantage of this situation with job switching near historic levels and nominal wages growing quickly. The question now is by how much and how quickly will this situation fade," he added.

In the view of at least one major employer, however, this present labor market imbalance may not be so far off from working itself out. Speaking with Yahoo Finance Live on Monday, Panera Brands CEO Niren Chaudhary said current pressures in the labor market are clear, but could be resolved by year-end.  

"I'm actually thinking this is actually a short-term friction between demand and supply," Chaudhary said, "and hopefully things should settle down over the next few months." Panera Brands — which houses Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee, and Einstein Bros. Bagels — employs over 110,000 people across 10 countries.

Chaudhary added that the company has hired some 10,000 workers in the last two months, and expanded not only wages but benefits. Meanwhile, the company has created clearer advancement opportunities to hire and retain talent. Moves that are becoming table stakes in this unprecedented scramble for workers. 

By Myles Udland, reporter and anchor for Yahoo Finance Live. Follow him at @MylesUdland

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