JOLTs: Openings Fell As Hiring Was Steady

October 6, 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. Overall, the critical dynamics of the labor market were still improving slightly through August. The hires to openings ratio inched up, and the unemployed-to-openings ratio fell slightly. Encouragingly, separations fell while hiring was steady. But job openings fell. And on a trend basis, openings need to increase further to align with previous recoveries in labor markets. Job Openings FELL by 204k in August to 6.493 million, compared with market expectations for 6.500 million. Government job openings ROSE by 39k. Consequently, private-sector job openings FELL by 242k. Over the past 12 months, there were 673k more job openings. Job Hires ROSE by 16k in August to 5.919 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 80k more job hires. Job Separations FELL by 394k in August to 4.594 million. Over the past 12 months, there were 1066k more job separations. The Hires to Job openings ratio ROSE by 0.030 points from 0.881 to 0.912 and is slightly above its 12 month average of 0.911. The Number of Unemployed to Job openings ratio FELL by 0.35 points from 2.44 to 2.09 and is sharply above its 12 month average of 1.85. This ratio has been declining since its July 2009 peak of 6.7 amid some volatility.