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JOLTs: Job Openings & Hires Fall in August

October 11, 2017
Bottom Line: Both job openings and hiring fell as total job separations fell. Lagged relative to other indicators, the Jolts survey for August does not represent a shift yet in the steady trend towards stronger hiring and more job openings. The quit rate fell slightly to 2.1%, while the layoff & discharge rate was unchanged at 1.2%. The number of job openings as a % of short-term unemployed (less than 27 weeks) is now 118.7% vs. 115.1% vs last month.

Job Openings FELL by 58k in August to 6.082 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 6.125 million.

Government job openings ROSE by 1k. Consequently, private sector job openings FELL by 59k. Over the past 12 months, there were 591k more job openings , 1,425k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires FELL by 91k in August to 5.430 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 142k more job hires , still 39k below their November 2006 pre-recession peak level.

Job Separations FELL by 134k in August to 5.228 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 169k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.006 points from 0.899 to 0.893 but is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.918.

The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.04 points from 1.14 to 1.17 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 1.27. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.