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JOLTs: Growth In Job Openings Lost Momentum in Late 2017

January 9, 2018
Bottom Line: The trend towards stronger growth in job openings lost momentum in late '17. This November showed both job openings and hiring fell modestly. While the labor market still remains strong, with separations also declining in November, the hires to job openings ratio appears to be in the process of bottoming, a typical late-cycle phenomena but by no means a sign of any weakness yet.

Job Openings FELL by 46k in November to 5.879 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 6025.000 million.

Government job openings ROSE by 2k. Consequently, private sector job openings FELL by 48k. Over the past 12 months, there were 248k more job openings , 1,222k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires FELL by 104k in November to 5.488 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 225k more job hires , 19k above their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations FELL by 49k in November to 5.202 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 127k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.010 points from 0.944 to 0.933 and is modestly above its 12 month average of 0.914. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.02 points from 1.10 to 1.13 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 1.20. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.