Job Openings Slip in September, But It’s Still a Worker’s World

Summary Despite slipping in September from an upwardly revised level in August, job openings remain exceptionally high at 10.4M. Job switching remains rampant with the quit rate reaching a fresh record high, which is driving wages up as employers battle to attract and retain workers.

Job Openings Remain at an Impressive Level, Quits Heat Up Further

  • The latest job opening numbers indicate that demand for labor remains quite strong. Job openings according to the JOLTS report slipped only slightly in September to 10.4M from an upwardly revised 10.6M in August. That puts openings 47% above their level at the end of January 2020. More recent data from Indeed shows postings as of November 5 are up 51.4% from that period, signaling demand picking up again as the Delta wave has further subsided.
  • Openings continue to outstrip the number of workers officially counted as unemployed, in a sign that the labor market is tighter than even the 4.6% unemployment rate suggests. The number of unemployed workers per opening is now at its lowest rate ever at 0.73.