Key Points:

  • The number of available jobs since May 2021 continues to outnumber Americans looking for work.
  • The tight labor market has pushed total job openings to nearly double the available workers this year, but hiring has slowed amid a broader economic slowdown.
  • Job openings fell by 632,000 to 9.9 million in February after January was revised down to 10.6 million.
  • The largest decreases in job openings were in professional and business services (-278,000), health care and social assistance (-150,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-145,000).
  • The number of job openings increased in construction (+129,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+38,000).
  • The U.S. added 311,000 jobs in February but there were 6 million people unemployed.
  • In February, the number of hires and separations were little changed at 6.2 million and 5.8 million respectively.
  • Within separations, the number of quits increased to 4.0 million – still near the record high of 4.4 million – and layoffs and discharges decreased to 1.5 million.
  • The labor force participation rate was little changed over the month at 62.5% in February and is 0.8% below its February 2020 level.
  • The Right Facts will continue to monitor unemployment and job openings.