Special Report

Industries With the Most Job Openings

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So many Americans have been quitting their jobs this year that the term “Great Resignation” has been coined to describe this unprecedented exodus from the workplace.

One reason for this may be that workers decided to wait out Covid-19 before quitting jobs they were lucky enough to have as millions of others lost their jobs last year during the worst months of the pandemic. As the country began to recover, these and other workers left jobs in search of higher wages, better benefits and, for many, more flexibility in working from home. (These are the 25 lowest paying jobs in America.)

The employers struggling the hardest to recruit workers right now tend to be in the low-wage services industries, such as restaurants, hotels, and other leisure-oriented businesses.

Nearly four million Americans quit their jobs in April, a number unseen in the 20 years the government has been tracking that data. Meanwhile, layoffs and discharges (including firings) peaked in March 2020 at 13 million but have since fallen back to a more normal rate of under two million a month, according to CBS News. (At the same time, these are American cities that added jobs during the pandemic.)

What industries are hiring the most these days? To find out, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the rate of job openings plus the total number of job openings across 19 key industry categories. Figures are for the number of job openings on the last business day of the most recent month for which figures are available, May 31, 2021, as a percentage of total employment. Parallel numbers are given for May 2020 for comparison.

Click here to see industries with the most job openings.

Unsurprisingly, hotels and restaurants are among the thirstiest industries, but they aren’t the only ones putting up a lot of Help Wanted signs. Regionally speaking, Southern states have the most openings while the Northeast has the fewest.  

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19. State and local education
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 3.3% (total: 334,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 10,150,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 2.1% (total: 206,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 9,826,000

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18. Mining and logging
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 3.7% (total: 23,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 641,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 1.8% (total: 11,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 612,000

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17. Construction
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 3.9% (total: 299,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 7,716,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 3.9% (total: 281,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 7,285,000

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16. Finance and insurance
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 4.0% (total: 271,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 6,810,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 3.5% (total: 233,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 6,707,300

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15. Federal
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 4.2% (total: 126,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 3,007,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 2.5% (total: 75,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 2,952,000

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14. Real estate and rental and leasing
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 4.3% (total: 101,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 2,363,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 3.4% (total: 76,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 2,214,800

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13. Educational services
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 4.5% (total: 165,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 3,649,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 2.4% (total: 80,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 3,351,500

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12. Information
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 4.6% (total: 132,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 2,868,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 3.0% (total: 81,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 2,675,000

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11. State and local, excluding education
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 4.7% (total: 444,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 9,400,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 3.9% (total: 353,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 9,167,000

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10. Wholesale trade
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 4.7% (total: 280,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 5,961,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 2.5% (total: 140,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 5,648,000

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9. Durable goods manufacturing
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 5.7% (total: 458,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 8,098,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 2.5% (total: 187,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 7,388,000

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8. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 5.8% (total: 385,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 6,642,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 3.9% (total: 238,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 6,019,000

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7. Retail trade
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 6.0% (total: 974,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 16,213,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 4.6% (total: 659,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 14,303,100

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6. Professional and business services
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 6.7% (total: 1,491,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 22,237,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 4.4% (total: 883,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 20,130,000

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5. Health care and social assistance
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 6.9% (total: 1,481,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 21,474,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 4.5% (total: 881,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 19,716,800

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4. Nondurable goods manufacturing
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 7.1% (total: 357,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 5,020,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 2.8% (total: 128,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 4,584,000

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3. Other services
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 7.8% (total: 473,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 6,057,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 4.0% (total: 198,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 4,975,000

Note: Workers employed in this industry are engaged in activities not easily classified in other sectors. Included are such jobs as equipment and machinery repairing, promoting or administering religious activities, grantmaking, advocacy, and providing drycleaning and laundry services, personal care services, death care services, pet care services, photofinishing services, temporary parking services, and dating services.

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2. Arts, entertainment, and recreation
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 7.8% (total: 167,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 2,136,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 8.3% (total: 111,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 1,335,100

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1. Accommodation and food services
> Job opening rate in May 2021: 9.1% (total: 1,248,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2021: 13,669,000
> Job opening rate in May 2020: 6.6% (total: 627,000)
> Total employment + job openings in May 2020: 9,549,100

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