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JOLTs: Job Openings & Hires Fall Modestly

December 7, 2016
Bottom Line: The reported level of vacancies fell and put the October level slightly below its 6- and 12-month average. On a trend basis job openings are still increasing at a pace somewhat faster than hires. Across all industries net hiring was still positive. The quit rate was unchanged at 2.1%, while the layoff & discharge rate was unchanged at 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 FELL by 97k in October to 5.534 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 5.488 million. Government job openings FELL by 7k. Consequently, private sector job openings FELL by 90k. Over the past 12 months, there were 112k more job openings and they are now 877k above their March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires FELL by 22k in October to 5.099 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 113k more job hires , 370k below their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations FELL by 61k in October to 4.875 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 37k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.012 points from 0.909 to 0.921 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.937. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.00 points from 1.41 to 1.41 and is slightly above its 12 month average of 1.41. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.