Job Openings Hit New Record: More Openings than Job Seekers Since March

Job openings hit a new record high. Since March, the number of openings has exceeded the number of people looking.

Inquiring minds are investigating the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) report from the BLS.

Job Openings

On the last business day of July, the job openings level was little changed but reached a new series high of 6.9 million. The job openings rate was 4.4 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and for government. Job openings increased in finance and insurance (+46,000) and nondurable goods manufacturing (+32,000) but decreased in retail trade (-85,000), educational services (-34,000), and federal government (-19,000). The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions.

Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.7 million in July. The hires rate was 3.8 percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. Hires decreased in finance and insurance (-36,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions.

Hires vs Separations

Separations: Quits, Layoffs, Discharges

Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm. The number of total separations was little changed at 5.5 million in July.

Separations

The total separations rate was 3.7 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and for government. Total separations increased in educational services (+26,000) but decreased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-43,000). Total separations was little changed in all four regions.

Quits

The number of quits was little changed in July at 3.6 million. The quits rate was 2.4 percent. The number of quits edged up for total private (+109,000) and was little changed for government. Quits increased in accommodation and food services (+61,000), other services (+49,000), and educational services (+12,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four regions.

Layoffs and Discharges

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed at 1.6 million in July. The layoffs and discharges rate was 1.1 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total private and for government. Layoffs and discharges increased in retail trade (+53,000) but decreased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-40,000). The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four regions.

Other Separations

The number of other separations was little changed in July at 349,000. The other separations level was little changed for total private and for government. Other separations were little changed in all industries. The number of other separations decreased in the Northeast region.

Consensus Estimates

The Econoday consensus estimate was 6.670 million openings in a range of 6.655 million to 6.90 million.

The reported 6.939 million openings was a bit above the highest estimate.

Econoday Comments

  • Openings jumped 1.7 percent in July to 6.939 million to easily top Econoday's consensus range. Hires, after posting a 1.2 percent decline in June, came in unchanged in July at 5.679 million.
  • Year-on-year, openings are up 11.9 percent with hirings up only 3.3 percent with the latter now having fallen for three months in a row. The widening gap between openings and hires strongly suggests that employers are having a hard time finding employees with the right qualifications.
  • The number of openings, for the first time on record, moved past the number of people actively looking for work in March this year. This gap also keeps widening and stood at 659,000 in July and raises the risk of wage pressures as slack disappears in the available workforce.
  • Another sign of pressure, one watched by Jerome Powell, is the quits rate in this report which, up 1 tenth to 2.4 percent, is on the rise and what points to increasing willingness of those with jobs to look for better work.

Openings vs Unemployment Level

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (9)
No. 1-4
ML1
ML1

Yet USA has little over 60% of working age population in employment. Many European countries have percentages of 70%-75% in employment. Native born Swedish people have in employment rate of over 80% in Sweden.

USA should have NO need for any immigration based on need for workers since 70-75% in employment rate could be achieved also in USA.

Furthermore automatization and robotization remove jobs all the time so need for workers should be dropping in the future.

Also many jobs are based on fake demand created by continually increasing debt levels so these will disappear when ability to increase debt levels of consumers, companies, states and federal government is removed by market waking up with the thought "hey, these debts will never be repaid because these debts were used to hide the deterioration of debt carrying capacity due to lowering of wages and offshoring of jobs".

Jojo
Jojo

Then there is the usual ageism, especially in the SF Bay Area. If you are over 55 and not a super programmer, it is very hard (impossible?) to find employment. There are plenty of older people capable and willing to work at professional level jobs (not 7,11 cashier, burger flippers and so forth). If companies refuse to hire based on age, then I say to them, FU!

FlyOver_Country
FlyOver_Country

I like this graph to show many aspects of employment.

ChuckBlack
ChuckBlack

There will be plenty of job seekers when companies start upping the hourly wages and salaries. Most companies want all their labor on the cheap which is why they love unbridled immigration, including illegal immigration. Masses of desperate, hungry people help depress the the price of labor.