New information released Monday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows massive improvement as of May in one crucial labor market indicator — the total number of job openings. Openings skyrocketed this past spring, with April and May seeing a surge in overall employment:
In absolute terms, the largest number of openings is available in the somewhat amorphous industry the BLS describes as Professional and Business Services. That's everything from lawyers to temps to consultants.:
But a particularly sharp surge happened in the Accommodation and Food Services sector:
This is also the sector that registered the highest vacancy rate at 4.9 percent. That's not a historical high or anything, but it's in the neighborhood. That means employers in the legendarily low-wage food service sector are either going to need to start raising wages soon, or else start taking risks on the long-term jobless or people who've left the labor force. An example of why a little complacency about inflation could be very much in the public interest.