The latest job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s favorite economic indicators, was released this morning and it showed that there were 5.871 million job openings in America in July (lagged). That was a sharp increase from June’s upward-revised 5.643 million print and enough of a gain to even take out the previous all-time high of 5.845 million hit this past April. Total hires also rose in July (5.227 million), the second sequential gain in a row and not surprising considering the significant nonfarm payrolls growth seen that month. However, annual growth in both hires and job openings remains weak compared to the past few years, and the number of unemployed workers per job opening ended July at 1.41, down from June but still one of the higher readings of 2016. More importantly, the ratio of quits to layoffs and discharges rose to 1.89 in July, the best reading since the turn of the century and a sign of American workers’ increased willingness to give up their current job security for better employment opportunities. There is still room for improvement, though, as the overall quits rate appears to have somewhat stalled recently.
Sources: Econoday, Twitter, Bloomberg, ZH, U.S. DoL, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch