As the unemployment rate steadily declined in the U.S. over the past 12 months, the number of job openings in the country jumped to a 14-year high.
According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were almost 5 million jobs available in the country on the last day of November 2014. This represented a nearly 3 percent increase over October’s rate and is the highest number of open positions the U.S. has seen since January 2001. The Associated Press noted that between November 2013 and November 2014, the amount of U.S. job openings grew by 21 percent.
The Los Angeles Times reported that much of this increase is due to a shift in employers’ attitudes. Not only are they motivated by an increasingly stable economy, but they are also anticipating increased demand in 2015. Additionally, as the nation’s large baby boomer population moves toward retirement, a number of jobs are being vacated. Many of the recent openings were in the construction, manufacturing and professional and business services industries.
While there was little wage growth this year, the Los Angeles Times reported that compensation rates will likely improve as more job openings appear. About 17 percent of companies surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business reported that they have plans to increase pay in the near future.