Companies Facing Nationwide Worker Shortage: Rate of Job Openings
2018 by Laurie Northington in General
This is the first factoid in a series of four factoids showing how labor shortages throughout the U.S. are fast becoming a real issue across all major industries. From farms to factories, employers are having a hard time finding both unskilled and skilled workers. The brick and mortar home furnishings industry is not immune to the worker shortage crisis facing American businesses. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports the growing need facing companies to attract and retain employees, while adapting their training methods and introducing technology that fills the gap of a smaller workforce.
According to the latest data, the U.S. has 6.3 million job openings and 6.7 million unemployed workers. In many cases, the skill sets required for the job and/or the wages required by the worker for these open positions do not match with the available unemployed labor force pool in the required geographic area.
Job Openings by Industry
Accommodation (hospitality) and food services is the hardest hit industry with 5.5 percent job vacancy – increasing from 4.6 percent last year. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism accounts for over 14 million jobs in the United States and a continued rise in job openings could impede economic growth for the hospitality sector.
Healthcare and social assistance had 1.03 million jobs open in January 2018, the most of any sector, and was among the highest with an open job rate of five percent. Job openings among transportation, warehousing, and utilities jumped 63.1 percent over a year – from 187,000 to 305,000. Retail trade, which includes all furniture and home furnishing stores, had 711,000 jobs opens and a job opening rate of 4.3 percent– up 28.6 percent from the same period last year.
Government jobs – Federal, State, and Local – had the lowest rate of job openings at 2.1 percent. With rates under 4 percent (3.5 percent and 3.1 percent), job vacancies among Construction and Educational Services still rose 57.2 percent and 42.9 percent respectively from 2017 to 2018.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Note: The job openings rate is the number of job openings on the last business day of the month as a percent of total employment plus job openings