By Casey Harper

(The Center Square) – Job vacancies continued to rise in July, even though unemployment rates remained high, according to federal employment data released Wednesday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Job Openings and Workforce Turnover Survey, which found 10.9 million open jobs for the month of July, far more than the 8, 7 million unemployed for the same month.

“On the last working day of July, the number and rate of job vacancies rose to highs of 10.9 million (+749,000) and 6.9%, respectively,” BLS said. “Job openings have increased in several industries, with the largest increases in health care and social assistance (+294,000); finance and insurance (+116,000); and accommodation and food services (+115,000). The number of job vacancies increased in the North East, South and West regions.

Retail trade and goods manufacturing saw their hires fall by 277,000 and 41,000 respectively.

“The number of hires has increased in public and local education (+33,000) and in the federal government (+21,000),” said the BLS. Hires and total departures were little changed at 6.7 million and 5.8 million, respectively. Within separations, the quit rate was unchanged at 2.7 percent while the layoff and layoff rate was little changed at 1.0 percent. “

Meanwhile, the federal employment report for August found that unemployment remains high at 5.2% with 8.4 million unemployed, still well above pre-pandemic levels.

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“The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 5.2 percent in August,” the BLS said. “The number of unemployed fell slightly to 8.4 million, after a sharp drop in July. Both measures are significantly down from their highs at the end of the February-April 2020 recession. However, they remain above their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels (3,5 % and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020). “

Widespread job postings despite increased unemployment have been a topic of discussion for Republicans who opposed the extension of weekly federal unemployment benefits to $ 300, which expired over the weekend.

Republican governors and lawmakers have pointed out that these payments, enacted to offset the hardships of unemployment during COVID, as a key factor preventing Americans from returning to work now that the economy has passed the days of pandemic shutdowns.

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A morning consultation investigation as of July, 1.8 million Americans have turned down job offers, saying they prefer to receive unemployment benefits from the government.

Now that these payments are ending, some experts predict that unemployment will drop. US Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, responded to concerns about the end of benefits by urging unemployed Americans to re-enter the workforce.

“There are millions of vacancies and small businesses across the country are in desperate need of workers,” he said.

Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.