The number of job openings rose 5.8% (+690,000) to 9.6 million in August, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hires and total separations were little changed during the month.
There were notable increases in job openings in:
- Professional and business services (+509,000)
- Finance and insurance (+96,000)
- State and local government education (+76,000)
- Nondurable goods manufacturing (+59,000)
- Federal government (+31,000)
The quits rate remained relatively steady at 2.3%. Quits increased in accommodation and food service (+88,000); finance and insurance (+28,000); state and local government, excluding education (+21,000); and arts, entertainment, and recreation (+18,000), while decreasing in information (-30,000).
“The labor market is tight, but it’s easing, and gracefully so,” Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told the New York Times. Whether or not it’s cooling fast enough to avoid future rate hikes by the Fed remains to be seen.