Job openings are becoming ever more plentiful. In fact, they shot up significantly in recent months. Also, for the first time in many years, there were more job openings than job placements, implying companies are beginning to struggle in finding workers with right skill sets. In the meantime, those with rights skills can expect meaningful wage gains from intensifying competition for workers.
There are more workers quitting current employers to go elsewhere. This is a good trend as it implies more dynamism in the economy. Greater job changes also entail more residential moves, and hence, home sales opportunities will rise.
Workers are quitting because they have increased confidence that they can more easily find a better job. Workers do not quit their jobs during a recession. In April, the number of workers quitting was 2.7 million, while the number of hires was 5 million.
Not all industries are equal. Though the service industry gets a bad label as being low paying work at a hotel or fast-food restaurants, there are higher paying service sector jobs such as in accounting, medicine, college teaching, and software development. Specifically, placements have been solid in the Professional Business Service sector and in the Educational-Health Service sector. Not so in the Manufacturing industry. This divergent trend could have societal implications particularly among blue collar factor workers, who are predominantly male. For those interested, a detailed special report on the “weaker sex” was covered by The Economist recently.
A first major seismic shift in women’s role in the workforce occurred after the First World War. With men out in the gruesome battlefield, an increasing number of women were involved in factory work and war production. After witnessing this event that many countries started to grant the right of women to participate in democracy. One of the first important countries to do so was Britain. The voting age for men at 21; for women at 30.
Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.