WASHINGTON – Job openings held nearly steady at historically high levels in November in the United States.
There were about 10.5 million available jobs in November, essentially unchanged from October, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
Available positions increased in professional and business services. They decreased in finance and insurance.
With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to cool demand and combat inflation, the labor market could slow further in 2023.
Job openings are down from a record 11.9 million achieved in March 2022, though they still far exceed the 6 million Americans unemployed and seeking work.
The overall US labor market remains historically strong, with employers having added an average of 392,000 jobs a month in 2022 through November, according to the Labor Department.
The share of workers quitting their jobs –a sign of confidence in the labor market– rose to 2.7 percent in November from 2.6 percent a month earlier, the Labor Department said. Quits are above the pre pandemic rate but below record levels reached in late 2021.
The unemployment rate clocked in at 3.7 percent in November, up slightly from half-century lows matched earlier in 2022.
More broadly, economic growth restarted in the second half of 2022 after a contraction in the first half of the year.
Yet economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal this past fall forecast the economy to enter a recession in 2023. (MAP)