The data come ahead of Friday’s monthly employment report from the Labor Department, which is currently forecast to show that the U.S. added 420,000 jobs in December.
The JOLTS report reflected unprecedented quits in accommodation and food services, while the transportation and warehousing industry registered the second-most resignations on record. Quits also rose notably in health care.
A surge in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks could impact both the supply of workers and the number of job openings if more Americans pull back on activities like travel and restaurant dining and businesses struggle to stay open.
Vacancies dropped in accommodation and food services, construction and nondurable goods manufacturing. The biggest decreases were in the South and Midwest.
Total hires were little changed in November at 6.7 million. Layoffs and discharges were also steady.