Friday, January 17, 2020

BLS: Job Openings "Fell" to 6.8 Million in November

by Calculated Risk on 1/17/2020 10:06:00 AM

Notes: In November there were 6.800 million job openings, and, according to the November Employment report, there were 5.811 million unemployed. So, for the twenty-first 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 5 years).

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings fell to 6.8 million (-561,000) on the last business day of November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.8 million and 5.6 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.1 percent. ...

The number of total nonfarm quits was little changed in November at 3.5 million and the rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent. Quits increased in retail trade (+118,000), wholesale trade (+26,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (+19,000). Quits decreased in other services (-63,000).
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 November, the most recent employment report was for December.

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 November to 6.800 million from 7.361 million in October.

The number of job openings (yellow) are down 11% year-over-year.

Quits are up 4.6% 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, but have been declining - and are down 11% year-over-year.  Quits are still increasing year-over-year.