Job Openings Fall Slightly, Still Far Outnumber Unemployed Americans

November 6, 2018

There were just over 7 million job openings in September, according to the Labor Department’s Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). This is down slightly from August, which saw a record-breaking 7.3 million openings.

Despite the slight decrease, there were many more job openings than unemployed Americans that month. In September, there were 5.98 million unemployed Americans, meaning that the number of available jobs dwarfed the number of people looking for work by more than one million. The number of unemployed Americans crept slightly higher to 6.08 million in October, but the JOLTS numbers lag behind a month, so October’s openings numbers won’t be released until next month.

The quits rate, which tracks the number of people who voluntarily leave their jobs, remained unchanged at 2.7 percent. This remains historically high and is close to the record of 2.9 percent set in 2001. A high quits rate shows that workers are confident about the labor market, as they generally leave their current job because believe they can find better paying work elsewhere.


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