Job Openings Increase to 10.7 Million in September, Helping to Offset August Declines

The number of job openings was 10.7 million on the last business day of September, an increase from the 10.1 million openings as of the end of August. That’s according to a Tuesday release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

September’s job openings partially offset the decline in August though was little changed at a rate of 6.5%. The sectors that saw the biggest increases in job openings for the month were accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance and transportation, warehousing, and utilities. Job openings decreased in wholesale trade and in finance and insurance.

About 4.1 million people quit their jobs in September at a rate of 2.7%.This number represented little change from the 4.2 million people quit their jobs in August, at a rate of 2.7%, and the 4.2 million people who quit their jobs in June at a rate of 2.8%.

Resignations decreased by 56,000 in construction, by 35,000 in transportation, warehousing and utilities, by 28,000 in durable goods manufacturing and by 6,000 in retail trade. They increased by 15,000 in state and local government, excluding education and by 16,000 in retail trade.

The total number of separations in September, which includes quits, layoffs and discharges, was 5.7 million at a rate of 3.7%, compared to 1.5 million at a rate of 1% in August. Layoffs and discharges totaled 1.3 million at an unchanged rate of 0.9%.

According to data released in October from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%, with 5.8 million unemployed in September. Notable job gains were present across leisure and hospitality and health care. Retail employment did not see any notable gains or losses from August. Year to date, monthly job growth averaged 420,000 compared to the monthly average of 562,000 in 2021.

The job openings gain come as retailers gear up to hire staff for the holidays. While some companies such as Kohl’s plan to staff for the season similarly to 2021, others such as Walmart are reducing their efforts.

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