First, the bad news for the 6 million-plus people in the U.S. looking for work: The number of job openings fell in September. Now the good news: There's still about a million more openings than there are job-seekers.
That's a key takeaway from the newest jobs numbers provided by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics in its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The number of job openings fell to 7 million by the end of September from about 7.3 million in August, the department reported Tuesday, Nov. 6.
At the same time, the so-called "quits rate" of people who decided to leave their jobs was unchanged at 2.4% and the rate of layoffs and fires barely budged at 1.1%.
A dip in private sector jobs openings - which fell by 188,000 - accounted for most the drop, while government job openings declined by 96,000.
Some industries saw an increase in openings, such as health care and social assistance, which added 71,000 help wanted postings. But most industries saw openings fall, with the largest drop in professional and business services, which fell by 118,000. Finance and insurance followed with a dip of 82,000 in openings. In the public sector, state and local governments also reported 67,000 fewer new openings, not counting education related postings.