The latest job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that there were 7.348 million job openings in America in June (lagged release). That was above estimates and the May print was revised higher. At this level vacancies remain just under the record high and continue to easily exceed total hires. In fact, the hires-per-job-opening ratio in June held below 1.0 for the vast majority of U.S. industries, suggesting that most firms are having a difficult time filling vacancies.
This is an expected side-effect of a tightening labor market, as is the continued slowing in the annual pace of growth for both hires and openings. Moreover, there were nearly 1.4 million more job vacancies in June than out-of-work Americans, the 16th straight month that openings have outnumbered job seekers in this country. The ratio of quits to layoffs and discharges, an indicator of workers’ willingness to give up their current job security for better employment opportunities, also remained at a historically strong level in June. Although supportive of wage growth and improved benefits offerings, this environment can lead to greater consumer inflation as businesses try to pass on the rising cost of labor. Higher productivity growth, though, has helped keep inflation in check recently.
Sources: Econoday, U.S. DoL, FRBSL
Post author: Charles Couch