JOLTs: Openings Rebounded To Start 2020
March 17, 2020
Bottom Line: Always lagged but usually useful to gauge the nuances of the labor market, the January JOLTs report mostly confirmed that ahead of the coronavirus labor markets remained tight with likely hampered by a mismatch in skils. The reported level of vacancies rose and remained historically high but was still modestly below its 6- and 12-month average. Across all industries, net hiring was still positive. The quit rate was unchanged at 2.3%, 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) was 40.6% vs. 147.8% in December. Job Openings ROSE by 411k in January to 6.963 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 6.400 million. Government job openings ROSE by 40k. Consequently, private-sector job openings ROSE by 370k. Over the past 12 months, there were 557k more job openings, 2,306k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level. Job Hires FELL by 103k in January to 5.824 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 10k more job hires , 355k above their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations FELL by 148k in January to 5.614 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 24k more job separations. The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.068 points from 0.905 to 0.836 and is modestly above its 12 month average of 0.821. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.03 points from 0.88 to 0.85 and is slightly above its 12 month average of 0.84. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.
Article by Contingent Macro Advisors