JOLTs: Openings & Hires Rebound Sharply

December 10, 2018
Bottom Line: The JOLTs report for October revealed continued strong labor market trends. The reported level of vacancies rose and put the October level sharply above its 6- and 12-month average. Across all industries net hiring was still positive. The quit rate fell slightly to 2.3%, while the layoff & discharge rate was unchanged at 1.1%. The number of job openings as a % of short-term unemployed (less than 27 weeks) was 150.6% vs. 152.0% in September. Job Openings ROSE by 119k in October to 7.079 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 7100.000 million. Government job openings FELL by 30k. Consequently, private sector job openings ROSE by 149k. Over the past 12 months, there were 1,020k more job openings , 2,422k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level. Job Hires ROSE by 196k in October to 5.892 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 292k more job hires , 423k above their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations FELL by 85k in October to 5.556 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 284k more job separations. The Hires to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.014 points from 0.818 to 0.832 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.855. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio held at 0.86 and is moderately below its 12 month average of 0.98. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.