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JOLTs:  Job Openings Rise As Hires Fall

June 6, 2017
Bottom Line: The reported level of vacancies rose and put the April level sharply above its 6- and 12-month average. On a trend basis job openings are growing again while growth in total hires has been mostly sideways for nearly two years as some employers report difficulty finding skilled labor. Net hiring is still modestly positive as total hiring continued to exceed total separations. Finally, the ratio of job opening to the number of people unemployed for less than 27 weeks accelerated higher in the last few months. Normally, as you can see on the last chart in this report, that ratio has a strong relationship with core CPI -- but that gap has been widening quite significantly.

Job Openings ROSE by 259k in April to 6.044 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 5.750 million. Government job openings ROSE by 39k. Consequently, private sector job openings ROSE by 220k. Over the past 12 months, there were 401k more job openings , 1,387k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires FELL by 253k in April to 5.051 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 13k more job hires , 418k below their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations FELL by 225k in April to 4.973 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 11k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.081 points from 0.917 to 0.836 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.923. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.08 points from 1.24 to 1.17 and is moderately below its 12 month average of 1.34. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.