US Job Vacancies Rise to 7.37 Million and Highest Pre-Pandemic Levels As the Economy Accelerates and More People Hire

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The numbers: US job openings surged in February to the highest level in more than two years as the economy emerged from a winter slumber linked to a record spike in coronavirus cases The number of job openings surged to 7.37 million from 7.1 million in January, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

The economy began to accelerate early in the new year after a sharp decline in coronavirus cases. Rising vaccines, relaxed government trade restrictions, and another massive dose of federal stimulus have all contributed to the economy roiling, with faster growth expected in the coming months. Last Friday, the government said the United States gained 916,000 new jobs in March in another clear sign that the economy is strengthening. The Big Picture: Job openings now exceed pre-pandemic levels and are not far from a record. Many companies are looking to hire more workers in anticipation of the strengthening economy as the majority of the American population gets vaccinated. Read: Inflation is back in the crosshairs of Wall Street as the economy recovers again The United States still has a long way to go to recover the 8.4 million jobs that are still missing due to the pandemic, but millions jobs could be created in the next six months The coronavirus continues to fade. Read: Consumer confidence rises to a pandemic high Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.06% fell, but the S&P 500 SPX, + 0.07% rose slightly, in Tuesday’s trading. Both indices remain near record highs.