Millions of Job Openings -- Where?!

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If you're one of those people who have the misfortune of looking for a job right now, you'll be happy to hear that there are about 400,000 more job openings now than there were a month ago, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were 3.1 million job openings at the end of last month, to be exact, up from the 2.7 million job openings at the end of the month before. It ain't much, but it's a start.

And no, most of those new jobs were not with the Census Bureau. Those hirings were done well before these numbers came out. As a matter of fact, the number of government job openings fell, down 36,000 positions from the month before. (Don't miss Confessions of a census worker.)


The Good Sectors

Professional and Businesses Services was the healthiest sector, adding 100,000 new jobs. Leisure and hospitality added the second highest number of jobs, (43,000). With summer coming on, that makes sense. Next came education and health services, increasing by 37,000 jobs, and Construction, which was up 19,000. Manufacturing added 9,000 new jobs.

-- See average salaries for account managers, IT project managers, and graphic designers.


The Bad Sectors

In addition to the Government sector losing jobs, Retail lost 4,000. The number of new job ops in Trade, Transportation and Utilities stayed virtually the same from month to month. Experts were hoping for increases, no matter how slight, in all sectors.


All Regions Go

All regions increased the number of jobs available to seekers. On the last day of the month, the West had the biggest jump in job openings, up 225,000 from the month before. Job openings in the Northeast increased by 198,000. The South had the most job openings of all--1,098,000, an increase of 178,000 over the previous month. The Midwest only opened up 125,000 new jobs--but they'll make a big difference to the people who fill them.

Still, we're not adding nearly enough jobs to make up for the losses. Over the 12 months ending in April, hires totaled 48.8 million and separations totaled 50.2 million, yielding a net employment loss of 1.4 million jobs. Separations involve total quits, layoffs and discharges and other sundry separations.

It's interesting to note that the proportion of quits had exceeded the proportion of layoffs and discharges every month since they began keeping track, until November 2008 when layoffs and discharges became the larger contributor to total separations. My, how times have changed! (See 10 Reasons Why People Quit Their Jobs in a Tough Economy.)

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