Job Openings Remain Steady at 10.5 Million as Labor Market Stays Hot

The number of job openings was 10.5 million on the last business day of November, a sign that the hot labor market has yet to cool, even as the Federal Reserve looks to curb demand and inflation.

The total number of November job openings marked little change from October’s 10.3 million, according to a Wednesday release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate of jobs openings was also little changed from last month at 6.4%, down about one percentage point from its peak in March 2022. Compared to October, job openings increased in professional and business services and in nondurable goods manufacturing. Jobs decreased in finance and insurance and in federal government.

As for separations in November, which include quits, layoffs and discharges, the rate was unchanged from October at 5.9 million at a rate of 3.8%. Layoffs and discharges totaled 1.4 million at an unchanged rate of 0.9%. And about 4.2 million people quit their jobs in November at a rate of 2.7%.

Resignations decreased by 3,000 in retail, 6,000 in education services and 8,000 in government. They increased in wholesale trade, leisure and hospitality, and in trade, transportation and utilities.

As inflation soars, the job market has stayed tight as wages increase across various industries. Meanwhile, in an effort to curb spending and rising prices, the Federal Reserve has implemented a series of interest rate hikes in recent months. In December, it raised rates another half a percentage point, marking the highest level in 15 years. While these rate hikes are aiming to ease spending and cool inflation, they could potentially increase the chances of a recession in 2023 as well, the National Retail Federation’s chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a report yesterday.

According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in November, beating estimates of 200,000 jobs. Notable job gains were present across leisure and hospitality, health care, government, social assistance, information and manufacturing.

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