Tuesday, November 06, 2018

BLS: Job Openings decline to 7.0 Million in September

by Bill McBride on 11/06/2018 10:07:00 AM

Notes: In September there were 7.009 million job openings, and, according to the September Employment report, there were 5.964 million unemployed. So, for the sixth consecutive month, there were more job openings than people unemployed. Also note that the number of job openings has exceeded the number of hires since January 2015 (almost 4 years).

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings decreased to 7.0 million on the last business day of September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were both little changed at 5.7 million. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.4 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.1 percent. ...

The number of quits was little changed in September at 3.6 million. The quits rate was 2.4 percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and for government.
emphasis added
The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (dark blue), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.

This series started in December 2000.

Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. This report is for September, the most recent employment report was for October.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Click on graph for larger image.


Note that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. This is a measure of labor market turnover.  When the blue line is above the two stacked columns, the economy is adding net jobs - when it is below the columns, the economy is losing jobs.

Jobs openings decreased in September to 7.009 million from 7.293 million in August.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 12% year-over-year.

Quits are up 11% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

Job openings are at a high level, and quits are increasing year-over-year. This was a strong report.