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JOLTs: Openings Fall, Hires Rise

December 11, 2017
JOLTS Bottom Line: While the trend in hires to job openings lost momentum with this modestly weaker report, the overall picture remains one of a solid labor market. Job openings fell in October but total hires rose amid some volatility, likely due to the hurricanes. The reported level of vacancies was still above its 6- and 12-month average. Across all industries net hiring was still positive. The quit rate was unchanged at to 2.2%, while the layoff & discharge rate fell slightly to 1.1%. The number of job openings as a % of short-term unemployed (less than 27 weeks) is now 122.4% vs. 121.9% vs last month.

Job Openings FELL by 181k in October to 5.996 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 6135.000 million.

Government job openings ROSE by 8k. Consequently, private sector job openings FELL by 188k. Over the past 12 months, there were 409k more job openings , 1,339k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires ROSE by 232k in October to 5.552 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 352k more job hires , 83k above their November 2006 pre-recession peak level.

Job Separations FELL by 66k in October to 5.178 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 137k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.065 points from 0.861 to 0.926 and is modestly above its 12 month average of 0.913. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.01 points from 1.10 to 1.09 and is moderately below its 12 month average of 1.22. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.