Job Openings, Hires, Quits And Layoffs All Rebounded In November

While too backward looking to be actionable (it reflects the labor situation with a 2 month delay), today's JOLTs report showed little in terms of changes for "Janet Yellen's favorite labor market indicator": the number of job openings was little changed at 5.522 million, below the 5.555 million expectation, but above a downward revised 5.451 million (from 5.534 million). 

Hires and separations were also little changed at 5.219 million (up from 5.160 million), and 5.028 million (up from 4.966 million), respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.1 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.1%. That said, 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.

Meanwhile, discharges and other layoffs jumped by 68,000 in November rising to 1.637 million after hitting cycle lows of 1.513 million in September.

The offsetting good news, however, is that being "quits", or the so-called take this job and shove it indicator, also rose, increasing by 41,000 to 3.064 million, just shy of the all time high reported last December when a total of 3.088 million workers quits their jobs on their own terms.


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