Job openings plummet 42% in 2 years in world’s 5th largest economy.

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The number: California is suffering from the nation’s second-biggest drop in job openings since the Federal Reserve began hiking interest rates two years ago.

The source: My trusty spreadsheet looked at job openings for the 50 states and Washington, D.C., for March – the latest available – and compared them with March 2022.

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The why: The Fed began its battle against four-decades-high inflation two years ago in March, using costlier financing to cool an overheated economy. So we also looked at pre-pandemic 2018-19 as a measurement of “normal” hiring patterns.

Quick analysis 

California had the nation’s second-largest number of openings in March 2024 – 734,000, or 9% of the 8.3 million US total. Texas was No. 1 at 807,000. Florida was third at 543,000, followed by New York at 532,000 and Illinois at 385,000.

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If you want to see one example of how effective the Fed has been at chilling the economy, consider how many workers bosses say they need – now versus two years ago.

California job openings have tumbled 42% since March 2022. It’s not just this state, though, as there’s been a 31% decline nationally.

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