The level of job openings plunged by more than a million in August, providing a potential early sign that the massive U.S. labor gap is beginning to close.
Available positions totaled 10.05 million for the month, a 10% drop from the 11.17 million reported in July, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics release Tuesday. That was also well below the 11.1 million FactSet estimate.
The number of hires rose slightly, while total separations jumped by 182,000. Quits, or those who left their jobs voluntarily, rose by 100,000 for the month to 4.16 million.
The job openings numbers are watched closely by the Federal Reserve, which is trying to reverse runaway inflation.
One primary area of interest for the central bank has been the ultra-tight labor market, which had been showing about two job openings for every available worker. That ratio contracted to 1.67 to 1 in August.
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