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JOLTs:  Job Openings Rise as Hires Fall

April 11, 2017
Bottom Line: The reported level of vacancies rose and put the February level slightly above its 6- and 12-month average. Across all industries net hiring was still positive. The quit rate fell slightly to 2.1%, 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 100.3% vs. 97.2% vs last month. On a trend basis, hires are still rising steadily, even with the latest modest downtick. And now, after some sideways volatility, job openings are trending modestly higher too.

Job Openings ROSE by 118k in February to 5.743 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 5.650 million.

Government job openings ROSE by 15k. Consequently, private sector job openings ROSE by 102k. Over the past 12 months, there were 177k more job openings , 1,086k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires FELL by 110k in February to 5.314 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 133k more job hires , 155k below their November 2006 pre-recession peak level.

Job Separations FELL by 176k in February to 5.071 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 112k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.039 points from 0.964 to 0.925 and is slightly below its 12 month average of 0.928. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.05 points from 1.36 to 1.31 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 1.36. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.