U.S. Job Openings Decreased in November to Almost Two-Year Low


(Bloomberg) -- U.S. job openings fell in November to the lowest level in almost two years, indicating more employers see headcounts sufficient enough to meet demand.

The number of positions waiting to be filled decreased by 561,000 to 6.8 million, the lowest since February 2018, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, released Friday. Openings have steadily declined since a 2018 peak of 7.63 million.

The recent drop in open positions is consistent with moderation in both the job market and the economy. Nonetheless, openings continue to exceed the the number of unemployed as the tight labor market makes it difficult to find experienced workers. Labor shortages are also evident in lower-wage industries, which has prompted employers to offer higher pay.

Total vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed by just under 1 million in November, the report showed.

The number of voluntary quits increased, another sign of lingering tightness in the labor market. Higher quits suggest workers remain confident about their ability to find another job.

Although it lags a month behind other Labor Department data, the JOLTS report adds context to the monthly employment figures by measuring dynamics such as resignations, help-wanted ads and hiring.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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