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These industries had the biggest swings in job openings

Stacker compiled data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to discover which industries have had the most significant changes in job openings.  

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Job openings are at some of their lowest levels nationally since April 2021, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.

In December 2023, there were 9 million open jobs by the end of the month. A year prior, that number was at 11.2 million.

Employers have continued to add jobs, upping employment by 216,000 in December. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained the same at 3.7%. So while Americans still find themselves largely employed, their capacity to job-hop is quickly falling to levels predating the Great Resignation. For now, the number of job openings remains well above pre-COVID levels, which were typically somewhere around 7 million.

Conrad DeQuadros, a senior economic adviser at Brean Capital, told Reuters that excess labor demand is declining and the labor market is rebalancing. For workers, this means less confidence in finding new employment outside their current jobs. For employers, it could mean tempering wage inflation.

To discover which industries are driving the job market, Stacker used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Job Openings and Labor Turnover report to see which industries grew job openings in December and which saw open positions shrink. Industries are ranked by the percent change in job openings from December 2022 to 2023. Monthly data is preliminary.

The bureau records job openings on the last business day of the month and calculates the rate as a percent of total employment plus job openings within the industry. Read through the list to gather a snapshot of the economic activity across categories—retail, health care, manufacturing, and more.

#17. Accommodation and food services

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 846,000
--- Annual change: -833,000 (down 49.6%)
--- One-month change: -121,000 (down 12.5%)
- Job openings rate: 5.6%

#16. Finance and insurance

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 303,000
--- Annual change: -142,000 (down 31.9%)
--- One-month change: +11,000 (up 3.8%)
- Job openings rate: 4.3%

#15. Retail trade

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

- Total job openings, December 2023: 662,000
--- Annual change: -302,000 (down 31.3%)
--- One-month change: +50,000 (up 8.2%)
- Job openings rate: 4.1%

#14. Manufacturing

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 601,000
--- Annual change: -196,000 (down 24.6%)
--- One-month change: +48,000 (up 8.7%)
- Job openings rate: 4.4%

#13. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 429,000
--- Annual change: -105,000 (down 19.7%)
--- One-month change: -34,000 (down 7.3%)
- Job openings rate: 5.6%

#12. Mining and logging

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 32,000
--- Annual change: -7,000 (down 17.9%)
--- One-month change: 0 (up 0.0%)
- Job openings rate: 4.7%

#11. Professional and business services

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 1.7 million
--- Annual change: -368,000 (down 17.6%)
--- One-month change: +239,000 (up 16.1%)
- Job openings rate: 7.0%

#10. Arts, entertainment, and recreation

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 150,000
--- Annual change: -30,000 (down 16.7%)
--- One-month change: -9,000 (down 5.7%)
- Job openings rate: 5.6%

#9. State and local education

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

- Total job openings, December 2023: 272,000
--- Annual change: -53,000 (down 16.3%)
--- One-month change: -25,000 (down 8.4%)
- Job openings rate: 2.5%

#8. Wholesale trade

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 224,000
--- Annual change: -41,000 (down 15.5%)
--- One-month change: -83,000 (down 27.0%)
- Job openings rate: 3.5%

#7. State and local government

Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

- Total job openings, December 2023: 561,000
--- Annual change: -67,000 (down 10.7%)
--- One-month change: +13,000 (up 2.4%)
- Job openings rate: 5.6%

#6. Construction

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 449,000
--- Annual change: -39,000 (down 8.0%)
--- One-month change: -21,000 (down 4.5%)
- Job openings rate: 5.3%

#5. Real estate and rental and leasing

rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

- Total job openings, December 2023: 154,000
--- Annual change: -11,000 (down 6.7%)
--- One-month change: +26,000 (up 20.3%)
- Job openings rate: 5.9%

#4. Health care and social assistance

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 1.8 million
--- Annual change: -69,000 (down 3.6%)
--- One-month change: +63,000 (up 3.6%)
- Job openings rate: 7.7%

#3. Educational services

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 189,000
--- Annual change: +8,000 (up 4.4%)
--- One-month change: +11,000 (up 6.2%)
- Job openings rate: 4.5%

#2. Federal government

create jobs 51 // Shutterstock

- Total job openings, December 2023: 183,000
--- Annual change: +27,000 (up 17.3%)
--- One-month change: +14,000 (up 8.3%)
- Job openings rate: 5.8%

#1. Information

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- Total job openings, December 2023: 127,000
--- Annual change: +21,000 (up 19.8%)
--- One-month change: -35,000 (down 21.6%)
- Job openings rate: 4.0%


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