Job Openings Remain High

Via Curtis Dubay, Chief Economist, U.S Chamber of Commerce

The latest job openings data shows that businesses are still struggling to find workers.

Why it matters: There are 4.45 million more job openings than unemployed workers.

By the numbers: Job openings were 10.5 million at the end of November.

  • That is down 54,000 from October.
  • Job openings increased in professional and business services (212,000) and in nondurable goods manufacturing (39,000).
  • They decreased in finance and insurance (75,000) and in federal government (44,000).

Be smart: The quit rate was 2.7% in November. That is below the all-time high rate of 3%.

  • 4.2 million people quit their jobs in November, down from the 4.45 million all-time high in March, but it is still historically high.

Bottom line: The cooling economy is causing openings to drop, but not by much. The labor market remains tight. Hiring and quits remained at roughly the same level as October. So businesses are still adding workers and workers are still confident they can quit their current jobs and find better ones easily.

  • The still-strong labor market is a big part of our narrative on the economy of “second-hand pessimism.” Businesses say the economy is poor, but they’re still hiring as if it’s strong.
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