US Job Openings Pull Back From All Time High

After two consecutive months of record high job openings, today's August JOLTS report  - Janet Yellen's favorite labor market indicator - showed a modest pullback across most categories, with the total number of job openings falling in august from 6.140MM to 6.082MM, below the 6.125MM consensus estimate, resulting in an unchanged Oct. job opening rate of 4%. Still, after nearly two years of being rangebound between 5.5 and 6 million, the latest job openings number confirms that there may be a "breakout" about what was the previous resistance level, as increasingly more jobs remain unfilled in a labor market where skill shortages and labor imbalances are becoming structural.

The number of total job openings declined modestly by 58,000, increasing in health care and social assistance (+71,000) and in durable goods manufacturing (+31,000), while job openings decreased in other services (-95,000), educational services (-51,000), and non-durable goods manufacturing (-48,000). The number of job openings increased in the Midwest region. Now if only employers could find potential employees that can pass their drug test...

The rest of the report was just as subdued, with the pace of hiring reversing last month's increase, declining by 91,000 to 5.430 million...

... pressuring the pace of hiring lower from 3.8% in July to 3.7% in August. According to the BLS, the number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. The number of hires was little changed in all industries. Hires decreased in the Northeast region.

On an annual basis, the pace of hiring slowed down modestly, declining to 2.7% Y/Y in August, down from 3.6% in July.

The other closely watched category, the level of quits - which indicates workers' confidence they can leverage their existing skills and find a better paying job - also reversed last month's increase, and in  declined from 3.194MM to 3.124MM, suggesting workers are feeling less confident about their job skills than the previous month. The number of quits was little changed for total private and for government. Quits decreased in information (-14,000) and mining and logging (-6,000). In the regions, the number of quits increased in the West but decreased in the South.

And with a total 5.2 million separations (a 3.6% rate), this means that there were 1.7 million layoffs and discharges in August, little changed from July. The layoffs and discharges rate was 1.2 percent in August. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total private and for government. The layoffs and discharges level decreased in state and local government education (-11,000) and federal government (-4,000). The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four regions.

Finally, and perhaps most notably, the Beveridge Curve (job openings rate vs unemployment rate), appears to be gradually normalizing after a nearly decade-long "drift" from its conventional pattern. From the start of the most recent recession in December 2007 through the end of 2009, the series trended lower and further to the right as the job openings rate declined and the unemployment rate rose. In August 2017, the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent and the job openings rate was 4.0 percent.


Manipuflation Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:02 Permalink

No one hires anyone who they think might be smarter than they are.  If your intelligence overwhelms at the interview you will not get a call back.  As most ZH's know, it takes about 5 seconds and then you know.  The rest of it is waste of time.Here is a question that will never get you hired.  "Why should I work for your company".    

Falling Down Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:14 Permalink

When there are 4-6 ads for the same fucking job, on just one website (like Indeed), you just know those numbers are fake news.

That and the BLS stats are bogus. Employer surveys are pure bullshit, and I'd imagine they don't reflect the huge numbers of firings employers do these days.

It's all bullshit.

Anteater shizzledizzle Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:29 Permalink

These Trump 'job openings' are all fake.I've already been 'hired' for four positions.They'll 'call me' when they become available.Must be some Trump 'job creation' tax credits.That would be to entirely goose his stock portfolio.In reality all the cash is on the sidelines, held offshore.And another 110,000 Blue Monkey God'ers flying in today.

In reply to by shizzledizzle

WatchingRomeBurn Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:33 Permalink

More jobs than people in Reno, reminds me of '08  Apartment/retail units going up everywhere tearing down affordable houseing, this time IS different though. We have a LEFTIST mayor and wouldn't you know it? SHE favors the wealthy liberal elitest business's in the "midtown" (read as overpirced) district?! This time they have already made being homeless illigal, just in the last 2 months laws regarding sitting down and loitering have been passed. The gov sees it coming and this time they are ready. Last time we had tent citys popping up all over the place, but this time I guess we will continue to put the homeless on bus's to Utah and Vegas. Thanks tesla this upcoming crash would have been mild wothout you ????

canisdirus Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:14 Permalink

Is it still considered a job opening if they will never hire anyone for it?Is it still a job opening if the listing only exists to support the request for an H1B visa (and therefore designed to be impossible to fill)?Is it still a job opening if it was written exclusively to collect resumes?

IDESofMARCH Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:14 Permalink

My son is laid off from the oil fracking.  His plumbing buddy gets 3 to 4 days per week. My daughter has only part time work and her husband has been asked to take his banked holidays. Construction sites are at the final stages and no real new projects starting. Pre Christmass hiring has not fired up.? Fed is all made up paper numbers to keep filling the floating ballon. It's not Tax reform thats needed it's wages that need to go up substatially 20 to 30% to get families to be able to afford their daily needs and not keep piling up debt.