There have never been this many job openings in America

Refugees filling job gaps created by drugs
Refugees filling job gaps created by drugs

American employers are trying to hire, but they can't find the right workers for the right price.

The U.S. boasted 6.2 million job openings in June, a record level, according to a Labor Department report published on Tuesday.

The high number of job openings illustrates a strength and a weakness of the U.S. job market. On the good side, American employers are ready to hire. During the Great Recession, job openings plunged to as low as 2.2 million in 2009. The Labor Department began tracking open positions in 2000.

On the downside, employers increasingly say they can't find skilled and available workers to fill their open positions.

A growing debate has emerged among economists: Some say American workers need better skills while others argue that employers need to offer higher wages to attract better talent.

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Regardless, job openings are abundant in several industries. There were 388,000 manufacturing job openings in June, 225,000 construction postings and even 23,000 unfilled mining jobs. Each of these industries was up compared to the previous month and compared to a year ago.

Schools and hospitals have the most job openings: There were 1.2 million postings in health and education services in June.

President Trump hopes to fill some of those open jobs by investing more in apprenticeship programs, which tend to be located at offices or factories. Administration officials announced in June they would put $200 million toward ApprenticeshipUSA, a grant program, using already-allocated Labor Department funds.

However, Trump's proposed budget seeks to significantly cut funding for job training programs that offer more classroom-based learning.

The budget would reduce funding for job training by $1.1 billion, or 40%. U.S. officials say job training programs have had checkered success. Some programs considered to be thriving are asking the administration to reconsider.

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