U.S. Job Openings Drop, but Still at Lofty Levels

Reuters Lucia Mutikani

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U.S. job openings declined in November as a result of sharp drops in construction and other services. Job openings fell by 243,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.9 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Hiring declined 218,000 to 5.7 million in November, and the number of workers voluntarily quitting their jobs fell 112,000 to 3.4 million. The quits rate was unchanged at 2.3%, and the layoffs rate remained at 1.2% for a second consecutive month.

The latest job openings data did little to change views that the economy is facing a shortage of workers. “It won’t get easier for small businesses to fill open positions but it’s premature to conclude there are significant labor supply issues,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics.