Money & The Economy

Labor Crunch: Job Openings Remain Near Record High

Job openings in the U.S. remained near their record high while the number of Americans who quit their jobs remained relatively unchanged.

The U.S saw 11.3 million job openings in January, down slightly from December’s revised 11.4 million, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Data provided by FactSet estimated job openings would dip to 10.9 million, according to CNBC.

Meanwhile, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in January, a drop of 3.4% and the lowest figure since October 2021, according to BLS data. Hiring figures did not substantially change, reaching 6.5 million in January.

January’s data showed a relatively tight labor market after the Omicron variant ripped through the nation causing many workers to call in sick or leave their job.

Employers had over 10.8 million job openings in February, according to data from job search site ZipRecruiter, The Wall Street Journal reported. Employment search service Indeed recorded 10.7 million job openings in mid-February.

“Job openings are still very strong and we are seeing a little bit of a flattening, but they’re plateauing from enormous heights,” Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, told the WSJ.

Job openings hit a record high in July 2021 when the figure reached 11 million. Workers also quit their jobs at a record rate in 2021, as employees searched for positions with better pay, benefits and working conditions.

The U.S. economy added 678,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday.

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