Job openings dropped significantly in August, as hiring remained strong

The total of open jobs listed dropped by 1.1 million in August.

Updated: October 4, 2022 - 1:12pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The number of job openings sharply declined in August, while hiring slightly increased over the previous month, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

The total number of open jobs listed in August dropped by 1.1 million compared to July – from 11.2 million to 10.1 million, according to the department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover report.

The report also states the July-August decline was the sharpest one-month drop since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. 

The record monthly job-openings number is 11.4 million, set in December 2021, The Hill newspaper reports.

Roughly 6.3 million new employees were hired in August, a slight increase from 6.2 million in July. 

The total number of workers who were laid off also ticked up slightly, from 1.5 million in July to 1.6 million in August. A total of 315,000 jobs were added in August. 

Meanwhile, about 4.2 million Americans quit their jobs in August, which was also slightly higher than the previous month. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has said that the labor market must be brought into "balance" before inflation could return to normal levels, meaning reducing the number of job openings to the point where it may create a stall in hiring. 

"If we want to light the way to another period of a very strong labor market, we have got to get inflation behind us. I wish there were a painless way to do that. There isn't," Powell said in September after another steep rate increase was issued by the Fed. 

Just the News Spotlight