US job openings in February were largely unchanged, close to a record high, and quits increased slightly, signaling the ongoing mismatch between labor supply and demand that’s driving up wages.
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
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The number of available positions amounted to 11.3 million in the month. The average forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists estimated 11 million.
Meantime, 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in February, overlooking persistent turnover in the labor market. The quits rate, which tracks voluntary job leavers as a percentage of total employment, jumped to 2.9%.
The number of vacancies signals employer demand for workers remains solid amid consistent consumer demand and easing Covid-19 restrictions.
Meanwhile, businesses are struggling to recruit and retain employees in the tight labor market.
The JOLTS report indicated an increase in hires during February, including a 105,000 increase in retail trade and a 75,000 gain in the construction industry.
The number of people who quit their jobs rose in retail trade, durable goods manufacturing, and state and local education.