There were a record 9.3 million job openings in April as businesses struggle to fill vacancies and people quit their jobs at a rate higher than before the pandemic, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

In its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, the Labor Department said the number of job openings increased by 1 million over March, which also set a record dating back to 2000. Before the pandemic, the number of openings had dropped to about 4.6 million.

Despite the open positions, businesses are finding it difficult to hire new employees, MarketWatch reported, due in part to a lack of qualified workers, child care, enhanced jobless benefits during the pandemic and ongoing fears of COVID-19.

The hire rate for April was 69,000, about the same as it was for March.

Meanwhile, nearly 4 million people quit their jobs in April, twice the amount who quit the same time last year. The overall separations rate was mostly unchanged at 4%.

The largest number of job openings occurred in accommodation and food services (349,000), miscellaneous services (115,000), and durable goods manufacturing (78,000). The number of job openings decreased most in educational services (23,000), and mining and logging (8,000).


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