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JOLTs: Job Openings Rise Slightly, Hires Fall

November 8, 2016
Bottom Line: The reported level of vacancies rose slightly in September but is still modestly below below its 6- and 12-month average. On a trend basis job openings are still increasing at a pace somewhat faster than hires -- but the pace of growth in job openings is slowing. Across all industries net hiring (hires less separations) was still positive. The quit rate was unchanged at 2.1%, while the layoff & discharge rate fell modestly to 1.0%. The number of job openings as a % of short-term unemployed (less than 27 weeks) is now 92.0% vs. 93.3% vs last month.

Job Openings ROSE by 33k in September to 5.486 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 5.488 million. Government job openings FELL by 12k. Consequently, private sector job openings ROSE by 46k. Over the past 12 months, there were 126k more job openings and they are now 829k above their March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires FELL by 187k in September to 5.081 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 50k more job hires , 388k below their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations FELL by 138k in September to 4.914 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 42k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.040 points from 0.966 to 0.926 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.942. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.01 points from 1.44 to 1.45 and is modestly above its 12 month average of 1.41. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.