There were 5.6 million open jobs in America in December, just shy of the 5.7 million record set in July, according to Labor Department data published Tuesday.
While the job openings are good news for Americans looking for a job, it also shows concern that companies are faced with a job seekers market that could leave crucial positions open for long periods of time.
The number of job openings is nearly three times the 2.1 million available during July 2009, just after the recession ended.
Along with facing a job seekers market, companies may be finding it difficult to hire candidates with the highly skilled requirement their job postings desire. It’s called the job skills gap, and it has become a serious problem in the US.
Experts also argue that workers such as plumbers and electricians are dwindling in number as an increasing number of Americans go to college and earn a four-year degree.
America needs nearly 50,000 more truck drivers than it has, according to the American Trucking Association.
Some experts argue that companies are also increasing their expectations for workers, causing many applicants to ignore a company’s job postings in search of positions they feel more qualified to handle.
Unemployment also fell to 4.9% in January, the lowest rate in 8 years. Many experts consider that rate to equal “full employment” which means many skilled workers are already employed.
On a positive note for workers, many employers during times of full employment are forced to raise wages in order to attract top-notch talent.
If you are a highly-skilled worker with great negotiation skills you could land a nice bump in pay by joining a new company or negotiating a promotion with your current employer.