JOLTs: Openings Fall From Cycle High

July 10, 2018
Bottom Line: Job openings fell in May after accelerating sharply higher in the 1st Quarter and hitting fresh cycle highs in in April. The skills gap continues to be an issue for employers as hires to job openings rebounded only slightly, despite the correction in job openings. Additionally, the gap between job openings and inflation, which had appeared to be closing, remains historically wide (see chart towards bottom). Job Openings FELL by 202k in May to 6.638 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 6620.000 million. Government job openings ROSE by 25k. Consequently, private sector job openings FELL by 228k. Over the past 12 months, there were 950k more job openings , 1,981k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level. Job Hires ROSE by 173k in May to 5.754 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 268k more job hires , 285k above their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations ROSE by 44k in May to 5.468 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 202k more job separations. The Hires to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.051 points from 0.816 to 0.867 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.889. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.01 points from 0.93 to 0.91 and is moderately below its 12 month average of 1.07. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.