More Bad News From The BLS: Job Openings At 2.4 Million, 50% Decline From December 2007

Some more bad news out of the BLS today, to follow up on last Friday's disappointing NFP. For November, the amount of job openings dropped back to 2009 lows, at 2.4 million, dropping by 156,000 from October. After hitting a previous low in July, and gradually showing a moderate improvement, the last two months have killed that inflection point.

From the BLS:

There were 2.4 million job openings on the last business day of November 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The job openings rate was little changed over the month at 1.8 percent. The openings rate has held relatively steady since March 2009. The hires rate (3.2 percent) and the separations rate (3.3 percent) were essentially unchanged in November. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector by industry and geographic region.

The chart below shows the job opening (SA) and the hires and separations rates. Notable is that while the seperations rate has moderated, hiring has not picked up.

In November the hires-fires differential was for a job loss of -164,000, which differs materially from the gain of +4,000 called for in the Curreny Employment Statistics survey. Look for more downward revision to November payroll data.