U.S. job openings fall in August; fewer workers quit

FILE PHOTO: Job seekers prepare for career fair to open at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, January 6, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - U.S. job openings declined in August for the first time in four months led by fewer openings in the construction and retail sectors, and fewer workers quit their jobs.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, fell by 204,000 to 6.49 million on the last day of August, the Labor Department said on Tuesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS. It was the first monthly decline since April, and vacancies remain below their level of 7 million in February. The job openings rate fell to 4.4% from 4.6% in July.

The number of people voluntarily quitting their jobs fell by 139,000 to 2.79 million.

The JOLTS report followed news last Friday that the economy created 661,000 jobs in September after adding 1.489 million in August. About half of the 22.2 million jobs lost at the depth of the coronavirus pandemic have been recovered.

Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama