Near Record 5.6 Million Americans Were Hired In October, Most In Over 16 Years

After a burst of record high job openings which started in June and eased modestly in August, today's October JOLTS report  - Janet Yellen's favorite labor market indicator - showed a sharp drop in job openings across most categories now that hurricane distortions have cleared out of the system, with the total number dropping from 6.177MM to 5.996MM, well below the 6.135MM estimate, the biggest monthly drop and the lowest job openings number since May, resulting in an October job opening rate of 3.9% vs 4% in Sept.

After nearly two years of being rangebound between 5.5 and 6 million, the latest drop in job openings despite the alleged improvement in the economy is another inidication that an increasingly greater number of jobs may simply remain unfilled in a labor market where skill shortages and labor imbalances are becoming structural.

The number of job openings was down for total private and was little changed for government. Job openings increased in accommodation and food services (+94,000), construction  (+48,000), and real estate and rental and leasing (+40,000). Job openings decreased in wholesale trade (-90,000), finance and insurance (-47,000), information (-32,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (-26,000). The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions. Now if only employers could find potential employees that can pass their drug test...

One notable change in this report was that despite the sharp drop in job openings, the number of hires in October soared by 232K to 5.552MM in October, the highest since March 2001, and further reducing the hiring rate from 3.8% to 3.6%. At the industry level, the number of hires increased in other services (+55,000) and health care and social assistance (+45,000). Hires decreased for state and local government, excluding education (-32,000). The number of hires increased in the Northeast region.

On an annual basis, the pace of hiring spiked in October, rising from 2.7% Y/Y in Sept., to 6.8% in October, the highest since February 2016.

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 - was unchanged in October, and was identical to the 3.18MM quits in September, suggesting little change to worker confidence about demand for their job skills. The number of quits was little changed for total private, for government, and in all industries. In the regions, the number of quits increased in the South and decreased in the Midwest.

And with a total 5.2 million separations (a 3.5% rate), this means that there were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in October, little changed from September. The layoffs and discharges rate was 1.1 percent in Oct. The layoffs and discharges level increased in finance and insurance (+37,000) and in mining and logging (+7,000). Layoffs and discharges decreased in construction (-69,000) and in state and local government, excluding education (-15,000). The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in the Northeast region.

Putting all the data in context:

  • Job openings have increased since a low in July 2009. They returned to the prerecession level in March 2014 and surpassed the prerecession peak in August 2014. There were 6.0 million open jobs on the last business day of October 2017.
  • Hires have increased since a low in June 2009 and have surpassed prerecession levels. In October 2017, there were 5.6 million hires.
  • Quits have increased since a low in September 2009 and have surpassed prerecession levels. In October 2017, there were 3.2 million quits.
  • For most of JOLTS history, the number of hires (measured throughout the month) has exceeded the number of job openings (measured only on the last business day of the month). Since January 2015, however, this relationship has reversed with job openings outnumbering hires in most months.
  • At the end of the most recent recession in June 2009, there were 1.2 million more hires throughout the month than there were job openings on the last business day of the month. In October 2017, there were 444,000 fewer hires than job openings.

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 October 2017, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent and the job openings rate was 3.9 percent.


Endgame Napoleon Bay of Pigs Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:30 Permalink

I have passed a million drug tests. I have never even been drunk in my entire life. That does not keep you employed in the crony-mom-gang job scene, any more than meeting sales goals every month, retaining a comparatively high number of accounts, coming to work every day and staying all day. A college degree and legally required licenses: those are even less useful. An extreme amount of excused absenteeism is a much better plan for retaining employment. No need to meet the quotas if you are a fellow back-watching mom.

In reply to by Bay of Pigs

Giant Meteor BullyBearish Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:58 Permalink

Alls quiet on the western front ...Green shoots be green shootin ..Bitcoins be bitcoining ..Stocks , bonds and real estate  are priced to perfectionThe fundementals are strong .. Savings are up !Inflation is lowFull time employment is up, up, up,  good wages,  over abundance, overtime even !Dollar is strongThe military industrial complex is tamedBanks are utilities shit is so normal it's spooky ..

In reply to by BullyBearish

pods BullyBearish Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:59 Permalink

Don't make the mistake of looking up an OLD article and look at the comments.  Zerohedge was a goldmine of argument back then.  I'm sure some of it is just due to the simple fact that time passes. I mean, how long can you have a long discussion about a certain topic before it simply is hashed out, and there is nothing more to add?But, there is a definite team environment around here. It used to only be around (s)election time, but now it seems that it has become more commonplace day in and day out.pods

In reply to by BullyBearish

Sudden Debt The Greek horse Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:06 Permalink


In reply to by The Greek horse

pods Mon, 12/11/2017 - 10:44 Permalink

This is the best Paper Depression ever!Granted, it is the first. But still.  Can't wait till Janet (oops) normalizes rates. haha.When this comes apart it really is going to be epic. They have failed to remove the "assistance" to the economy, so when things turn south again, there will be no tools to combat the deflationary monster. I think they will simply hit the reset button and start a new currency. Of course one which is fair, safe, etc. All the usual bullshit for them to keep their system intact.  Let's hope the people stuff those FRN's down the bankster's throats when they try it.Shit, I forgot to even mention the story I'm commenting on. These are faked or shitty jobs. There.pods

3-fingered_chemist Mon, 12/11/2017 - 10:49 Permalink

Record job openings.Must work 50 hours a week. Pee in a bottle and poop in a reusable bag during shift (plastic bag fee costs 10 cents). Hourly rate $7.75. Oh yeah, no benefits.  

CRM114 Mon, 12/11/2017 - 10:51 Permalink

I challenge the assumption that quits is primarily driven by people leveraging better work elsewhere. If this were true, we would expect hourly wages to be increasing, and they aren't. At all.As ever, the claims for the data don't stand up to the slightest cross-referencing, because the basis for the data is all lies.Anecdotally, most people I know who have quit in the last couple of years have done so because they were fed up working for exploitative a-holes, and they either have the same job with a slightly better employer on the same wages, have started their own business (50% off the books), or retired early.  

Jus7tme Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:33 Permalink

>>Near Record 5.6 Million Americans Were Hired In October, Most In Over 16 YearsThis cannot be right in a country with 300M people and a labor force a fraction of that. The numbers must be annualized hiring rates. This whole article stinks. The terms are not explained. The press release from BLS is not much better.

adr Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:03 Permalink

Bullshit.Just like when they say, NOVEMEBR CAR SALES RUN AT RECORD 18 MILLION UNIT RATE!!!!!!!!You take an adjusted number that is pure bullshit and apply it to an entire year to get an even bigger whopper.

rejected Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:05 Permalink

Went for a Sunday drive,,, yesterday. Went to Sears (about 1pm local),,, a Graveyard! Still playing the Mexican music though. At least this time there was one in the store that spoke the language,,, out of maybe 20. Empty shelves with stickers to see a employee if interested. Flipped over dozens of Crapsman tools.... Made in China. Sad,,, They have destroyed Sears.To JC Buck. (J.C. Penney): A little more traffic,,, maby 50-60 customers in the store but few actually buying.Again, Sad. They are destroying this store as well.Academy was doing better than both combined. I don't shop there as it is just more priced up Chinese imports. And I mean priced UP!  With the prices I saw at all the stores, you could easily employ Americans but the corporate fantastic profits and bonuses would drop.Now the restaurants around them were packed full. I mean FULL.  Many in suits so I'm guessing those false Christians out from church. Restaurants are doing well here in NW Florida.

Shed Boy rejected Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:26 Permalink

The Chinese are not to blame for the junk in the stores. It's the state side buyers seeking maximum profit. It's an AMERICAN that buys the stuff you see in the stores. Lets get this false blame bullshit over with. It's a corporate asshat that is buying the cheapest junk he can find so as to make the most profit. Don't blame the Chinese for wanting to make money because some greedy fucker here in America wants to profit. The junk you buy in the stores is a direct result of good ol fashioned AMERICAN GREED. The Chinese are more then happy to make sub standard junk as long as stupid Americans continue to buy it and those corporate fucks continue to fill the stores with it.*edit.. Having spent a lot of time in China, I can tell you that they are more then capable of making high quality items. They keep the good stuff for themselves. It's corporate greed that forces you to buy junk...NOTHING ELSE. Whoever makes the cheapest product with the highest profit margin is who Sears, Walmart, JC Penny buys from.

In reply to by rejected

adr Shed Boy Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:41 Permalink

At the end of the line or top of the pyramid there is a jew making the choice to sell absolute shit for an extra 1% on the bottom line. It doesn't ever occur to them that saving 1% might cause sales to drop 20% because what ends up on the shelf is garbage.Like when I specced 5mm screws for the winerack I designed but the bastard CEO changed them to 3mm because they were half a cent cheaper. I told him that 3mm screws weren't long enough to hold the plates together an the thing would just fall apart. His reply was that half cent was $10,000 on 2 million units and that if I wanted to cost him $10k it would come out of my pay. I had a lot of fun telling him off when I quit six months later.

In reply to by Shed Boy

foxenburg Shed Boy Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:15 Permalink

@Shedboy. "It's a corporate asshat that is buying the cheapest junk he can find so as to make the most profit." No, no, no, no, no. It's not corporate greed to blame. The blame lies firmly in the hands of the end-user....the person who buys this crap for his own use. The Chinese manufacturer must do what he can to turn a profit. But ditto the American importer and retailer. Whereas the end-user, the King. He KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING when he buys a pair of socks for fifty cents. He figures he can afford to forego quality and put the bucks saved to better use. We would all buy nothing buy cashmere socks if money was no object. We are not mindless slaves.

In reply to by Shed Boy

Endgame Napoleon rejected Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:54 Permalink

People with good jobs, generally dual-high-earner couples, are off from work a ton, just like moms on welfare and tax welfare and moms with spousal income in low-wage jobs who watch each other’s backs and the babyvacationing momma manager’s back. The highly paid working parents travel a lot. They eat out a lot. They wait to have children, continuing with the college party life for years, and when they do, the grandparents fawn all over them, babysitting at every whim. So, they always have a place to leave the kids when taking a week or two of excused time off every month or two. They have willing babysitters for the many, many, many nights out for busy-working parents. They do not have to cut back at all. They have massive homes, home renovations galore, trips galore AND tons of minor indulgences, like eating out, During a close-to 7-year marriage, my ex and I ate out less than 10 times and shared an old car from the Eigties for years. We were struggling to pay a business loan on our shop without all that pay-per-child tax welfare, with a higher tax rate than the [employed] and the parents. We did pay it back, not that such behavior does you any good in life, no more than coming to work every day, staying at work all day and selling / retaining more accounts than most of your colleagues. Sex and reproduction pays much more in this womb-productivity-based, fake-feminist world, not just at the top—at the bottom, too.

In reply to by rejected

MusicIsYou Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:22 Permalink

Ooo construction increased 48000 wow. So who's gonna buy the new houses besides mostly people who got low paying and part time jobs?  Basically another housing crash is coming.

VZ58 Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:24 Permalink

All good paying, full time jobs with good hours, in growing sectors that produce things and will provide a secure future for the applicant...yeah right! Hahaha...waitresses, barristas, care aids and welfare workers or general labour jobs. Put that STEM degree to use!

Endgame Napoleon Disgruntled Goat Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:58 Permalink

Hard work and productivity, like generating a lot of accounts, does not pay for most. It pays only for a handful of managers. Sex and reproduction is what pays in this socialism-for-some economy. A $6,444 child tax credit equals 3 to 4 months of wages in the many states, where the per capita income is right at $19k. That does not count all of the other womb-productivity freebies, allotted to moms who work part time, staying below the income limit for welfare. Productivity is down, too. Wonder why?

In reply to by Disgruntled Goat

D503 Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:51 Permalink

Amazon delivery drivers on temp hire to hand out free shit to the deluded class. Sharpen your guns and clean your knives. 

Silver Savior Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:28 Permalink

I did not see anyone get hired. Know a lot of people who got fired or quit though. My nefew got trained in welding and he is still unemployed and they won't hire him in retail either. The economy is not as great as they make it out to be. Lots of struggle.