Business

US job openings surge to record 9.3 million in April

A store advertises a Help Wanted sign in Annapolis, Maryland, on May 12, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted a record 9.3 million job openings in April with the U.S. economy reopening at break-neck speed.

The number of job openings soared 12% from the 8.3 million counted in March.

But employers hired just 6.1 million, up 1% from March, according to a Labor Department report Tuesday, suggesting that positions are opening faster than companies can fill them.

Hotels and restaurants, reopening after being forced to close or curb hours during the coronavirus pandemic, reported the biggest increase in job openings.

The number of Americans quitting their jobs rose 11% to almost 4 million in April, the highest figure in records going back to 2000.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy generated 559,000 new jobs in May and that the unemployment rate dipped to 5.8% from 6.1% in April. The hiring figures would ordinarily be viewed as exceptional. But as the economy rebounds from the coronavirus recession, some economists had expected to see much faster job gains. The United States is still 7.6 million jobs short of where it stood in February 2020.

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