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The number of job vacancies hit a record in April as worries about labor shortages increased

Business concern: The new data, coupled with a mediocre job report from May, stir up business complaints about a labor shortage. The National Federation of Independent Business optimism fell slightly last month as nearly half of business owners said they could not find a workforce to fill vacancies.

Where are the jobs: Openings in accommodation and catering services – industries rocked by the coronavirus pandemic – saw the largest surge in new opportunities in April, followed by “other services” and manufacturing.

What it means: Economists say the tightness of the labor market gives workers more power in choosing a career, especially in the hospitality industry.

“High layoffs mean workers are comfortable leaving their jobs in search of better candidates,” wrote Elise Gould, senior economist at the left-wing Economic Policy Institute. “Low layoffs are an obvious commodity. The economic recovery is picking up speed. ”

“The sectors leading in layoffs are those where labor markets are already quite tight or where hiring rates are increasing: recreation and hospitality, transportation and warehousing, and retail,” added Nick Bunker, research director for the recruitment website Indeed .

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