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JOLTs: Openings Steady, Hires Fall Again

November 7, 2017
Bottom Line: Job openings were nearly unchanged as total hires fell. Lagged relative to other indicators, the Jolts survey for September do not represent a shift yet in the steady trend towards stronger hiring and more job openings. The quit rate rose slightly to 2.2%, 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 120.2% vs. 112.9% vs last month.

Job Openings ROSE by 3k in September to 6.093 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 6.125 million.

Government job openings ROSE by 24k. Consequently, private sector job openings FELL by 21k. Over the past 12 months, there were 427k more job openings , 1,436k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires FELL by 147k in September to 5.273 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 94k more job hires , 196k below their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations FELL by 33k in September to 5.240 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 298k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.025 points from 0.890 to 0.865 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.913. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.05 points from 1.17 to 1.12 and is moderately below its 12 month average of 1.24. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.