Although job openings in the US fell in August, they were still significantly high compared to previous years, against a backdrop of worker shortages.
In the first time this year the number of new jobs available fell by 659,000 to 10.4m by the end of August, according to figures released by the US Labor Department today.
The number of jobs is still relatively high though compared to the same time last year when the department recorded 6.5m job openings. Pre-pandemic too, at the end of August 2019, there were just 7.1m vacancy openings.
Hiring also slowed down by 439,000 to 6.3m while nonfarm payrolls rose by a disappointing 194,000 – the smallest one-month gain since December 2020.
The figures showed that the shortage of workers continued to challenge US businesses, even as cases of the Delta variant of Covid rose.
There were also a record number of US workers who chose to quit their job in August with the rate at 2.9 per cent, an indication of Americans’ confidence in securing a new job.
There are concerns that the slowdown in hiring, combined with an increasing demand for labour, will continue to hamper the recovery of the US economy from the pandemic. The US is still 5.3m jobs below its pre-pandemic employment level.
Meanwhile the UK saw its job market return to pre-pandemic health as the number of payrolled employees climbed more than 200,000 over the last month, jumping to 29.2m in September, above its pre-pandemic level, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).