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JOLTs: Hires Rise & Job Openings Fall to End 2016

February 7, 2017
Bottom Line: The reported level of vacancies fell and put the December level modestly below its 6- and 12-month average. On a trend basis growth in job openings is decelerating, slowing slightly relative to hires and causing the hires to job openings ratio to base around 0.9 - 0.95 over the last year. Across all industries net hiring was still positive. The quit rate fell slightly to 2.0%, while the layoff & discharge rate was unchanged at 1.1%. The number of job openings as a % of short-term unemployed (less than 27 weeks) is now 96.5% vs. 99.1% vs last month.

Job Openings FELL by 4k in December to 5.501 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 5.580 million.

Government job openings FELL by 75k. Consequently, private sector job openings ROSE by 71k. For 2016 there were 220k more job openings , 844k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires ROSE by 40k in December to 5.252 million. In 2016 there were 149k more job hires , 217k below their November 2006 pre-recession peak level.

Job Separations FELL by 50k in December to 4.968 million. In 2016 there were 160k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.008 points from 0.947 to 0.955 and is modestly above its 12 month average of 0.929. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.02 points from 1.35 to 1.37 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 1.38. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.