The job openings hit their lowest level in 18 months in September as the labor market continued to tighten, according to a Labor Department Tuesday.
Total vacancies fell to 7.02 million for the month, a decrease of 277,000 from August, shows the labor opening and the labor force survey. Although it is lagging behind other releases after a month, the so-called JOLTS report is closely followed by the Federal Reserve authorities as an indicator of labor market health.
The job opening rate dropped to 4.4% from 4.6% in August.
However, the total number of positions is still far ahead of the reported 5.8 million people looking for work during the month. The last vacancies below 7 million were in March 201
The graduation rate, a measure of confidence and mobility that measures how many workers who voluntarily left the job, was reduced to 2.3% for the month when the total fell by 103,000 to 3 , 5 million.
Rent increased by 50,000 to 5.93 million, while total separations increased by 76,000 to 5.81 million. The employment rate remained unchanged at 3.9% while the dividing line also held 3.8%.
Wage duties overall did not increase by 180,000 in September, while the total employment rate rose to 158.3 million and unemployment fell to 3.5%. Data released Friday showed wage growth of 128,000 in October, with unemployment up 3.6%.