JOLTs: Openings Rose But Hiring Slipped Again

September 9, 2020
Bottom Line: The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary offered more details into how re-openings for the novel coronavirus impacted the labor market. Total job openings rose for the third straight month in July and were nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, led by the retail trade, health care, and construction sectors. Total hiring slipped for the second straight month, falling back towards long-term averages as the sharp rebound from the reopenings in May and June subsided. The volatile hospitality and food services sector saw hiring fall most sharply. Separations edged higher but remained below the long-term average and well below the record level seen in March amid shutdowns for the novel coronavirus. Overall, this report confirmed a continued but decelerating recovery for the labor market. Job Openings ROSE by 617k in July to 6.618 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 6.000 million. Government job openings ROSE by 17k. Consequently, private-sector job openings ROSE by 600k. Over the past 12 months, there were 618k more job openings, 1,961k more than the March 2007 pre-recession peak level. Job Hires FELL by 1183k in July to 5.787 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 188k more job hires. Job Separations ROSE by 108k in July to 5.007 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 762k more job separations. The Hires to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.287 points from 1.161 to 0.874 and is modestly below its 12 month average of 0.902. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.49 points from 2.96 to 2.47 and is sharply above its 12 month average of 1.75.