Job Openings hardly budge as Americans continue to quit their jobs in droves

Harry Wilmerding, DCNF

Job openings remained nearly unchanged in February while Americans continue to leave their jobs in high numbers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Tuesday.

The U.S. saw 11.3 million job openings in February, a slight dip from December’s high of 11.4 million, BLS reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimated job openings would slightly decrease from January’s 11.3 million figure.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans who quit their jobs increased slightly to 4.4 million from January’s 4.3 million figure, BLS reported, remaining significantly elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels of 3.6 million, according to Fox News.

“Demand for labor is still incredibly high, but there’s also progress happening, and we are on track to getting back to a pre-pandemic labor market based on many metrics by this year, potentially,” Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, told the WSJ.

Employers may see hiring get easier as inflation continues to surge throughout the country and people become more inclined to work due to increased prices, Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at the forecasting firm Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc., told the WSJ.

“A lot of government support that was helping people out is over—the government cheese isn’t coming anymore,” Shapiro said. “They’ll need to work in order to support themselves.”

“And kids are back in school, so parents don’t have to worry about what to do with their kids,” Shapiro added.

The U.S. economy added 678,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate dropped to a new pandemic low of 3.8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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