U.S. Job Openings Rose to a Record 11.5 Million in March

Job openings increased to 11.549 million in March, the Labor Department said in its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) on Tuesday.

The number of vacancies across the U.S. economy has held sharply above the number of hires, which were little changed month-on-month at 6.7 million in March. And the number of quits also edged up to a record high of 4.5 million, with the quits rate hovering little changed at 3.0%.

By industry, job openings rose significantly among retail trade employers, with vacancies increasing by 155,000 month-on-month. Durable goods manufacturing industries also saw vacancies rise by 50,000 in March. On the other hand, vacancies decreased by 69,000 in transportation, warehousing and utilities industries, and by 43,000 in state and local government education.

Job openings across the board, however, remain well above pre-pandemic levels, as vacancies were averaging around just 7.1 million per month throughout 2019. And these openings have remained even as firms have brought back workers at rates well above pre-virus levels for much of the past year.