Job Openings Disappoint As Americans Quitting Their Jobs Tumble

Tyler Durden's picture

While too backward looking to be actionable (it reflects the labor situation with a 2 month delay) especially in a time when everyone is focused on the future of Trump's fiscal policies (whose details have still to be revealed), today's JOLTs report showed few changes for "Janet Yellen's favorite labor market indicator": the number of job openings was little changed at 5.501 million, down from downward revised 5.505 million, missing expectations for a second consecutive month: consensus was looking for 5.568 million jobs. The job openings rates as a % of total employment declined to 3.6% from 3.7%, but will hardly be noticed in a labor force which the Fed already deems to be near full employment.

Hires and separations were also little changed at 5.252 million (up from 5.212 million), and 4.968 million (down from 5.018 million), respectively. However, as we have observed before, the pace of hiring appears to have tapered off, after hitting cycle highs in February 2016 at 5.5 million, and remaining at levels largely unchanged over the past 2 years.

As shown in the next chart, while the trailing pace of job additions has been modestly declining in the past two years, net hiring also appears to have plateaued.

A potentially concerning trend emerges when looking at the "quits" rate, or the so-called take this job and shove it indicator, which rumbled by 98,000, or the most since last February,  to 2.979 million, the lowest print since July, suggesting that Americans may have gotten more worried about quitting their job for various economic or personal reasons.

Meanwhile, discharges and other layoffs jumped by 16,000 in December rising to 1.635 million, the third consecutive monthly increase, after hitting cycle lows of 1.513 million in September, as employers appear to be finally accelerating terminations of workers.

Finally looking at the Beveridge curve shows that there is still a major disconnect between the pre and post-crisis labor market.

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Ghost of Porky's picture

Lot's of job openings coming in WALL CONSTRUCTION!

CJgipper's picture

None of these are actual "jobs".  They're just ads so they can bring in the H1B workers.

"Engineering Project Manager for Silicon Design Division - Prior government experience required, prior private practice experience required, 20 years minimum experience.  Must live and work in Palo Alto.  Independent Contractor position, 10 dollars an hour." 

BandGap's picture

No shit, this has been going on for at least a dozen years.

Shut the fucking door.

ghostofelvis's picture

No they aren't actual jobs.  Most of the job postings I see are fake, or spam to get your personal information.  

Jim Shoesesta's picture

Its all Obama's fault.  (this is gonna be fun....) 

Guatemalanwatersnake's picture

This is all Bush's fault and you're a racist!

Iamanisland's picture

Presidents and Congressmen are puppets.  It be the cartel / deep state be the fault. Wake up there you snake!

ghostofelvis's picture

I've been job hunting for a long time so that I can escape the hell of my present job.  Everything is temporary, contract, and pays $12 an hour.  Rent is so high I can't take a pay cut.   I'm younger than most here, and I'm just spinning my wheels and so is everyone else my age. 

Philo Beddoe's picture

If you can and I know it is a big IF these days. Try working for yourself as much as you can. Shlep life insurance, fix stuff and generate cash payments to you where and when you can. 

Don't be afraid to drive around the industrial park looking for work either. Nobody does this anymore. Nobody. 

Hope this helps. 



ghostofelvis's picture

The realtor market in my area is booming.  Not real estate - realtor.  Thousands of people have gotten their real estate license in the past few years to the point that there are at least twice as many realtors than homes for sale in inventory at any one time.  


They're all just looking for a chance to make some money somewhere.  I imagine it's the same in the insurance industry.  

Iamanisland's picture

The agents who are in debt or existing / practicing while using debt will quickly become non-active. Getting in and out of real estate is about luck and timing and being in the right area.

ghostofelvis's picture

As long as they can spread their NAR dues over three or four different credit cards, they will remain "active." 

Iamanisland's picture

and the advertising, the "nice" car to look prosperous, health insurance, website, etc. etc. etc.

Iamanisland's picture

My daughter who is 41 and her husband are making around $90K. They have 3 girls and can't make ends meet enough to purchase a home. They drive used cars and don't waste any money on vacations or grownup toys. They haven't a clue as to how things ended up this way but instead just thrash and wail against the politics. I try to get them to understand the real cause but because it wasn't on their "No child left behind" school curriculum - they don't understand how the money cartel operates.  My one word of advise to you is to use the internet to teach yourself what you weren't taught in school. Spoiler - avoid debt no matter how much they tease you to entice. No debt=freedom.

aliens is here's picture

Stop preaching now debt = freedom crap. BS.

pods's picture

I would like to hear how your assertion is true.


Iamanisland's picture

Try having debt and no job. You will quickly find out how this assertion is true.

ghostofelvis's picture

I'm thankful I knew enough to avoid debt.  When I was in college I tried to tell my friends that but they treated student loans and credit cards like free money - and they still do.  I have a small amount of student debt and have almost paid off the car I plan to drive for a long, long time.  

Iamanisland's picture

Believe it or not two of mine are still paying off school loans from a small college in PA after graduating in 2001 & 2003! We are helping at a tune of $700 per month as co-signors. I just noticed with ACS any extra payment goes towards future payments not the principal!  What a racket!

ghostofelvis's picture

Holy shit.  



I'm so jealous of kids like yours. 

Iconoclast's picture

No debt, not even a mortgage?

CJgipper's picture

Some may say I'm an idiot, but I'm okay with that.  Here's what *I* would do in your situation - I'd move in with my parents or relatives TEMPORARILY.  I'd build a Tiny home on a trailer.  PROPERLY.  Or even better, I'd find one that someone had built to live in (and was built PROPERLY), and buy that because they're worth squat second hand.

If you want to get head these days, a nice place to live, mobility, freedom from debt are KEY.  And that's how it's done.  Buying property these days (except unimproved land for your mobile house - not crappy mobile home) is insane, and so is paying rent.

ghostofelvis's picture

Moving in with family isn't an option or I would have already done just what you said.  Rent is the killer.  

Mustafa Kemal's picture

Read a post here recently, where a fellow invested 30K into training to become a racing motor machinist. After, I forget exactly, around a year of training, his first year he made 25K, second 45K, and after 3 or 4 years total he was making 96K. The jist; get trained to do something someone is willing to pay for.  I got three children that Im trying to work this through with.

Good Luck

CRM114's picture

Room share, live on a boat, anything. You MUST get your outgoings down.

Do you NEED a car,or is it cheaper to hire?.

What's the cheapest possible phone deal?

The system has you in the paycheck-to-paycheck trap, and you are going to have to do the financial equivalent of gnawing your own foot off to get out, but get out you must.


And the simple knowledge of knowing you can tell any boss to shove it is of inestimable value. Your mental health will improve hugely, and furthermore your boss will actual treat you better when s/he knows this (drop subtle hints).

ghostofelvis's picture

I wish I had a spot in my budget to cut!  I do bare minimum, cook my own meals, use the library, bargian shop.  No extras in my life.  My car will be paid soon so I'm chomping at the bit for that freedom.


I like the idea of my jerk of a boss knowing I don't need him.  Frankly, I know I've been taken advantage of repeatedly and this has given me something to think about. 

aliens is here's picture

I have 2 bachelors degrees and they are not in gender studies or social studies. My degrees are in science and business and I can't find a job in my field. Whatever, I am just discourged and venting.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

Dude, I'm doing the same job I was doing in 2003 after grad school and nice jobs in PE.

It's all turning to shit

Let go of your past

Find something else. I'm reinventing myself to program so I don't have to rely on anyone to code what I know needs to get done.

I'm also on the look out for other biz opportunities.

We are in 1920s Europe right now. You are on your own.

BustainMovealota's picture

get a trade,,  good money no bullshit college debt.

cherry picker's picture

In the early 80's it was pretty bad for jobs where I lived.  I was hired by three firms and before the actual start date I receivied a call saying due to business conditions the job I was hired for vanished.  After three of those, I said screw it and started my own business.

That was a long time ago, there were months I hardly made enough to put food on the table and other months when money was flowing in.

You can't depend on a degree alone.  You need to be versatile and willing to do whatever the job requires. 

In my thinking that is the only way.  Those Wall St types who make millions are the exception, not the rule and most got those positions by luck and who they know, just like it has always been.

CRM114's picture

Cut your outgoings.

Take any fulltime job that doesn't treat you like shit, if you can find one.

Start learning how to construct your own (simple) house.

Plan to quit the rat race as soon as possible.

It isn't going to get better.

Iconoclast's picture

I've tried watching a few reality tv survivor shows in the uk recently: leaving guys on islands, letting them set up communes, trying to pass SAS type tests etc. Anyhow, what struck me is that 95% of the morons on the shows have non jobs but are extremely proud of them...

Personal trainers, hypnosis therapists, feet massagers/aromatherapists, jugglers, vloggers, Zumba teachers, sandwich artists, baristas, freelance tree surgeons, girl was a twerking coach, I shit you not a twerking coach.

Now I accept that most of the fukctards who go on these shows will be weird narcissists, they're the only ones who have the spare time to go on these torturous and vacuous shows, but it struck me that so many millennials have only this on offer in our service industry, consumer spend driven economy. It's over, we are so past peak human.

shizzledizzle's picture

Someone should tell the market.

g'kar's picture

Take 5 million people off all the free shit and tell them to start applying for those 5 million jobs

Phyz Stacker's picture

I am hoping that job creation and unemployment statistics will now be accurately reported.  I am very tired of seeing rainbows and unicorns when there are none.  Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  Keep Stackin Bitchezzz !

Sonny Brakes's picture

Let's review what I know about applying for a job and how I think the scam works. Your resume reveals:

your name, are you male or female, are you related to the Smiths or Joneses we know or are you a foreigner.

your address, are you a local candidate or do you live on the wrong side of town.

your current employer, if you have a job we're interested if you aren't currently employed, we're not interested. What financial compensation might you be expecting to take a new job?

where else have you worked and when, how long do you stay employed before you move on to another employer or are there gaps in your employment history? If you have gaps we're not interested.

your education, did you go to a prestigious school or a community college. If you went to a prestigious school maybe you're well connected and we'll pay you a premium, a community college, not so much.

your references, who will vouch for you. We need names, names of people you know that we don't, we need to talk to someone we don't know to vouch for a person we don't trust.

What you won't know when applying for a job are the conditions of employment. If you knew what went on here you wouldn't be applying.

Tell me if I'm right.

Sonny Brakes's picture

Here's what happened?
95 million American workers, not in the US labour force.
As a rule of thumb, if you want less of something, tax it.

Sick Underbelly's picture

What the hell are the sources for this ~5 million job openings number?  

I found this as technical clarification of what "Job openings" means (emphasis added):

Job openings. Job openings information is collected for the last business day of the reference month. A job opening requires that: 1) a specific position exists and there is work available for that position, 2) work could start within 30 days whether or not the employer found a suitable candidate, and 3) the employer is actively recruiting from outside the establishment to fill the position. Included are full-time, part-time, permanent, short-term, and seasonal openings. Active recruiting means that the establishment is taking steps to fill a position by advertising in newspapers or on the Internet, posting help-wanted signs, accepting applications, or using other similar methods.
The above doesn't talk about the sources. More methodology expounded here (emphasis added):
Active recruiting means that the establishment is taking steps to fill a position by advertising in newspapers, on television, or on radio; posting Internet notices; posting help-wanted signs; networking or making “word of mouth” announcements; accepting applications; interviewing candidates; contacting employment agencies; or soliciting employees at job fairs, state or local employment offices, or similar sources.

I would argue that "accepting applications" isn't *truly* actively recruiting. Putting a sign on your store window isn't really getting in front of potential workers; same for "word of mouth" announcements.

And, finally, within the same .pdf linked above, we can see the data sources, their sampling procedures, and their admission of attempting a 90% confidence level....but not always meeting it.

Essentially, if a business is registered and pays state unemployment insurance for one or more employees, they are a candidate to be sampled. If they agree, they are contacted each month for 24 months, and then not again for 3 years, with new respondents rolling on and off each month. It appears companies of 5,000+ are permanently on the survey.

So, with 100% confidence, the numbers we receive could be--with about 90% confidence--representative of the US job market.

Then, again, we could definitely say that for the respondents involved, throughout their specific industries, the numbers match.

I guess, since there's no way to gather the information independently without major cost, it's virtually impossible to gather data to compare against the gubbmint's data and conclusions.

just the tip's picture

the reason the gov't charts are so conflicting is they are now, for the first time in thirty years, reporting accurately.  they have to ease into it.  the correction factors used have to be corrected for the correct result to be correct.

scv's picture

i'll help with the wall in seattle