August saw a reduction in the number of available jobs for the first time in four months, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, Reuters reports. However, manufacturing job openings rose that month, NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray tells us.
Manufacturing: According to Moutray, “Manufacturing job openings in August reached 460,000, up from 430,000 in July and the best reading since July 2019 (477,000). This improvement suggests that firms are once again increasing their interest in adding new workers, even as the sector attempts to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and the overall labor market has changed dramatically.”
Overall economy: The picture for the overall economy isn’t as strong:
- Job openings fell to 6.49 million—a decrease of 204,000.
- The job openings rate fell to 4.4% from 4.6% in the prior month.
- The number of people leaving their jobs voluntarily was 2.79 million in August—down 139,000 from the month before.
About half of the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic have not yet been recovered.