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JOLTs: Openings Accelerated Higher

September 11, 2018
Bottom Line: Job openings rose sharply more than expected in July as the hires to job-openings ratio returned to cycle lows. On a trend basis job openings are still accelerating higher, growing sharply faster than hires as unemployment relative to job openings hovers near record lows. Finally, the quit rate rose slightly to 2.4%, as workers were more comfortable finding new jobs given abundant openings. Meanwhile the layoff & discharge rate was unchanged at 1.1%.

Job Openings ROSE by 117k in July to 6.939 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 6675.000 million. Government job openings FELL by 16k. Consequently, private sector job openings ROSE by 133k. Over the past 12 months, there were 737k more job openings , 2,282k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level.

Job Hires ROSE by 2k in July to 5.679 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 181k more job hires , 210k above their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations ROSE by 20k in July to 5.534 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 128k more job separations.

The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.014 points from 0.832 to 0.818 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.877. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.06 points from 0.96 to 0.91 and is moderately below its 12 month average of 1.04. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.