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JOLTs:  Job Openings Rise More Than Hires in March

May 9, 2017
Bottom Line: The reported level of vacancies rose and put the March level modestly above its 6- and 12-month average. On a trend basis job openings have been mostly sideways, albeit near cycle highs and amid volatility. Growth in total hires, meanwhile, has started to slow . Health care and socal assistance saw 49k new hires while mining and logging fell 8k. The quit rate was unchanged at 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. Overall, this report confirmed steady labor market trends.

Job Openings ROSE by 61k in March to 5.743 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 5.725 million.

Government job openings ROSE by 34k. Consequently, private sector job openings ROSE by 28k. Over the past 12 months, there were 109k more job openings , 1,086k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires ROSE by 11k in March to 5.260 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 37k more job hires, 209k below their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations ROSE by 80k in March to 5.088 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 48k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.008 points from 0.924 to 0.916 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.929.

The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.07 points from 1.32 to 1.25 and is moderately below its 12 month average of 1.36. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.