JOLTs: Continued Tight Labor Markets As Openings Fall Slightly

June 11, 2019
Bottom Line: Job openings fell just slightly in April after a sharp rebound in March. The April level is still slightly above its 6- and 12-month averages. Across all industries net hiring was still positive. The quit rate was unchanged at to 2.3%, while the layoff & discharge rate rose slightly to 1.2%. The number of job openings as a % of short-term unemployed (less than 27 weeks) is now 162.1% vs. 152.3% vs last month. Overall this reveals a continued tight labor market with a significant skills gap. Job Openings FELL by 25k in April to 7.449 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 7.496 million. Government job openings ROSE by 21k. Consequently, private sector job openings FELL by 46k. Over the past 12 months, there were 343k more job openings , 2,792k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level. Job Hires ROSE by 240k in April to 5.937 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 243k more job hires , 468k above their November 2006 pre-recession peak level. Job Separations ROSE by 70k in April to 5.578 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 111k more job separations. The Hires to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.035 points from 0.762 to 0.797 and is modestly above its 12 month average of 0.781. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.05 points from 0.83 to 0.78 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.83. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.