WASHINGTON, DC (CBS Local) – The U.S. job market reached a historic marker in March as the number of available jobs reportedly equaled the number of unemployed workers for the first time in two decades.
According to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers were advertising openings for 6.55 million positions in March. The May 8 release adds that 6.59 million Americans were unemployed at that time, meaning that there was 1.01 open jobs per unemployed worker in the country.
The Department of Labor said the nearly 6.6. million openings represented the most since the agency started tracking job advertisements in December 2000. The parity of jobs and job seekers is being called a historic oddity as the number of unemployed Americans is usually far above what’s currently available.
According to Market Watch, there were about 6.6 unemployed workers for every job available just after the Great Recession in 2009. Since that point, the gap has steadily shrunk until finally reaching this point in March.
Some economists are now saying that with all of the open positions available, the next number to rise in the job market will be salaries. “Employers beware,” Chris Rupkey of MUFG Bank said, via KBTX. “Wages have nowhere to go but up; it’s just a matter of time.”
While employers may have many spots to fill, the news isn’t as great for the 6.59 million people currently unemployed. A separate survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 88 percent of businesses said they couldn’t find workers who were qualified for the jobs they were applying for.