|Job openings rose by 572,000 at the end of December from November to more than 11 million in total.
Why it matters: There are now a whopping 5.3 million more job openings than unemployed workers. The cooling economy should cause businesses to cut back on their job postings – at least one would expect. But that is not the case so far.
By the numbers:
- Postings were up in accommodation and food services (409,000), retail trade (134,000), and construction (82,000).
- They decreased in information (107,000).
Be smart: The labor market remains tight. Hiring and quits remained at roughly the same level as in November. So businesses are still adding workers, and workers are still confident they can quit their current jobs and find better ones easily.
- The quits rate was 2.7% in December. That is below the all-time high rate of 3%.
- 4.1 million people quit their jobs in December, down from the 4.45 million all-time high in March, but still historically high.
- Quits decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-69,000), but increased in other services (+65,000)
Bottom line: The stubbornness of job openings reminds us that we remain in a unique labor market. Usually, jobs do not remain plentiful when the economy is softening.