More people in the U.S. are searching for a job and switching jobs amid growing confidence in the labor market, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The New York Fed reported in its latest labor market survey that the proportion of individuals who reported searching for a job in the past four weeks increased to 24.0% from 19.6% in July 2020.
Employer-to-employer transitions increased to 5.9% from 4.4% while 18.7% of individuals reported receiving at least one job offer in the past four months, up from 13.5% in July 2020 but below pre-COVID-19 levels.
The average full-time offer wage received in the past four months declined to $58,469 from $62,911 but the average reservation wage — the lowest wage that survey respondents would be willing to accept for a new job — increased sharply to $68,954 in July 2021, from $64,226.
The survey “illustrates how much stronger the labor market is than a year ago when millions more were unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines were not yet available to the general public,” Reuters said.
Fox Business noted, however, that there is “a growing gap between job openings and hiring that suggests companies are scrambling to find workers, even though the unemployment is still well above the pre-pandemic level.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has warned the worker shortage poses the biggest threat to the economy’s recovery from the pandemic after the government reported there were a record-shattering 10.1 million vacant job openings in June, even though there are just 8.4 million unemployed Americans.
Before the pandemic shut down broad swaths of the nation’s economy, there were roughly 7 million available jobs.
The New York Fed also said that among those who were employed four months ago, 91.8% were still employed in July, compared to 84.5% last July. This increase reflected a decline in transitions into unemployment to 0.4% from 10.5%.
The number of Americans who expect to work past the age of 62 fell to 50.1% from 51.9% last July, the lowest reading since the Fed started recording the data in March 2014.
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