Private-Sector Job Openings Fell in November but Quits Surged

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 10.562 million in November, down from 11.091 million in October. The number of open positions in the private sector decreased to 9.601 million in November, down 572,000 from a record-high 10.173 million in October (see first chart).

The total job openings rate, openings divided by the sum of jobs plus openings, dropped to 6.6 percent in November from 7.0 percent in October while the private-sector job-openings rate fell to 7.0 percent from a record-high 7.4 percent (see first chart).

Three industry categories still have more than 1.5 million openings each: education and health care (1.970 million), trade, transportation, and utilities (1.955 million), and professional and business services (1.801 million). Leisure and hospitality dropped below the 1.5 million mark in November, coming in at 1.482 million.

The highest openings rates were in leisure and hospitality (8.7 percent), professional and business services (7.8 percent), education and health care (7.7 percent), transportation, and utilities, trade (6.6 percent), and manufacturing (6.4 percent).

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