Job openings reached a record level of 8.1 million at the end of March, reflecting a widening gap between open positions and workers willing and able to take those roles.

Available jobs rose by a seasonally adjusted 600,000 in March to exceed the prior record of 7.6 million set in November 2018, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Data from job search site Indeed.com separately showed job posting continued to rise in April, ending the month 24{960021229dc1dc07dce4932a9ddab0b26243ff9ca1f758a9c1fcae84a7a57436} higher than February 2020’s pre-pandemic level.

The Labor Department said the highest rate of open jobs was in the South, while the strongest growth in openings was in the Northeast. Government and private data showed increasing openings in construction, manufacturing and hospitality.

The growth in available jobs came as hiring cooled to a seasonally adjusted 266,000 in April from a gain of 770,000 the prior month, the Labor Department said last week.

“Employers are looking to hire, but temporary factors are making people a little hesitant to take jobs,” said Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed. The growing number of available jobs “shows how difficult it is to turn openings into hires.”


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