Private-Sector Job Openings Totaled Nearly 10 Million in December

The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the total number of job openings in the economy rose to 10.925 million in December, up from 10.775 million in November. The number of open positions in the private sector increased to 9.882 million in December, up 129,000 from 9.753 million in November, and is the third highest on record (see first chart).

The total job openings rate, openings divided by the sum of jobs plus openings, was unchanged at 6.8 percent in December while the private-sector job-openings rate rose to 7.2 percent from 7.1 percent and was just below the record-high 7.4 percent (see first chart).

Four industry categories have more than 1.7 million openings each: education and health care (2.067 million), professional and business services (1.875 million), trade, transportation, and utilities (1.868 million), and leisure and hospitality (1.716 million).

The highest openings rates were in leisure and hospitality (9.9 percent), professional and business services (8.0 percent), education and health care (8.0 percent), manufacturing (6.4 percent), and transportation, and utilities, trade (6.3 percent; see second chart).

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