Job Openings Fell Again in September but Remain Very High

The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the total number of job openings in the economy fell to 10.438 million in September, down from 10.629 million in August. The number of open positions in the private sector decreased to 9.581 million in September, down from 9.775 million in August (see first chart). Despite a second consecutive month of decline, total and private sector openings remain extremely high by historical comparison.

The total job openings rate, openings divided by the sum of jobs plus openings, fell to 6.6 percent in September from 6.7 percent in August while the private-sector job-openings rate dropped to 7.1 percent from 7.2 percent.

Four industry categories have more than 1.5 million openings each: trade, transportation, and utilities (2.031 million), education and health care (1.878 million), professional and business services (1.786 million), and leisure and hospitality (1.586 million).

The highest openings rates were in leisure and hospitality (9.4 percent), professional and business services (7.8 percent), education and health care (7.4 percent), trade, transportation, and utilities (6.9 percent), and manufacturing (6.7 percent; see second chart).

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