According to Tuesday’s report released by the Labor Department, the job openings in the U.S. have dropped by 1.1 million in August. This represents the biggest decline in job openings since April 2022, when the economy was hit by the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In their monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS), the Labor Department reported that there were 10.1 million job openings in the U.S. in August compared to 11.170 million in July. The largest decrease was recorded in the health care and social assistance industry, which saw 236,000 fewer job openings, and retail trade with a drop of 143,000.
The rate and number of hires, however, didn’t change much from July. In August, there were 6.3 million hires, while the hire rate stood pat at 4.1 percent. According to JOLTS, 4.2 million people quit their job in August, while 1.5 million were laid off or discharged.
Despite the decrease in job openings, the number is still considered fairly high taking surging inflation into consideration. This is why it is expected that the Federal Reserve continues to ramp up its interest rates in an attempt to further cool down the economy and decrease the labor demand.
The Fed increased the federal funds rate from 0.25% to 0.50% in March to the current level of 3.00% to 3.25%. Further interest rate hikes are expected by the end of the year.