Key Points:

  • The number of available jobs since May 2021 continues to outnumber Americans looking for work.
  • Job openings rose modestly to 8.8 million in February, slightly above consensus of 8.7 million.
  • In February, job openings increased in finance and insurance (+126,000); state and local government, excluding education (+91,000); and arts, entertainment, and recreation (+51,000).
  • Job openings decreased in information (-85,000) and in federal government (-21,000).
  • The U.S. added 275,000 jobs in February but there were 6.5 million people unemployed.
  • The number of job openings for January was revised down by 115,000 to 8.7 million, the number of hires was revised up by 11,000 to 5.7 million, and the number of total separations was revised up by 108,000 to 5.4 million.
  • In February, the number and rate of hires were little changed at 5.8 million and 3.7%, respectively. Hires decreased in durable goods manufacturing (-44,000).
  • The number of total separations in February rose to 5.6 million, and the rate was 3.5%.
  • Over the month, the number of total separations increased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+64,000) but decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-62,000).
  • Within separations, quits (3.5 million) and layoffs and discharges (1.7 million) changed little.
  • In February, the number of quits was little changed at 3.5 million, and the rate was 2.2% for the fourth consecutive month.
  • The number of layoffs and discharges increased in accommodation and food services (+67,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+57,000).
  • The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.5% for the third month and is 0.9% below its February 2020 level.
  • The Right Facts will continue to monitor unemployment and job openings.