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Job openings in U.S. rise to 11 million amid slight decline in those who quit

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Job openings in U.S. rise to 11 million amid slight decline in those who quit
The number of Americans who quit their jobs in October was just 205,000 shy of the record, the department said Wednesday. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Employers nationwide had 11 million job openings during the month of October, nearly a record, and the number of Americans who quit their jobs that month dipped slightly -- but is still way above normal.

The figures were reported Wednesday in the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS.

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According to the report, employers posted 11 million jobs in October, which was close to the record of 11.1 million set in July.

Additionally, the report noted that almost 4.2 million U.S. workers quit their jobs during the month. The figure is down from September, but still is the third-highest mark for any month dating back to 2000.

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The larger numbers of workers quitting recently, for varying reasons, has been dubbed the "great resignation."

The number of people quitting their jobs was just 205,000 shy of the record 4.36 million in September. Quit levels topped 4 million for the first time in June and 4.3 million followed in August.

Wednesday's report said October's departures represented about 3% of the total U.S. workforce.

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"Quits decreased in several industries with the largest decreases in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-57,000); finance and insurance (-45,000); and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-33,000)," the department said in a statement.

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A sign seeking applications for new workers is seen in the window of Angelico Pizzeria in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on October 14. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI

"Quits increased in state and local government, excluding education (+21,000) and in mining and logging (+6,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four regions."

Separations -- which includes quits, layoffs, firings and other reasons for departures -- declined by 255,000 to 5.9 million, the report said. Most declines in separations were seen in the finance and insurance sector and transportation, warehousing and utilities.

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Separations in government, on the other hand, increased for the month.

The department said hiring changed little in October, with 6.5 million people taking new jobs. Most of those were seen in the educational services sector.

Wednesday's report came a few days after the department said that 210,000 jobs were added nationwide for the month of November -- far fewer than economists had predicted.

Monthly job growth has averaged 555,000 in 2021, the department said in the report last Friday, and U.S. employment has increased by 18.5 million since April 2020. Compared to prepandemic levels in February 2020, the total growth figure is down by almost 4 million.

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Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Thursday. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

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