The latest job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that there were 7.079 million job openings in America in October (lagged release). That was a larger than expected increase from September’s downward-revised print and the 2nd-highest reading on record. Notable gains in job openings occurred in the information (+45,000), real estate and rental and leasing (+38,000), and educational services (+20,000) sectors. Total hires also rose in October, but again at a much slower annual rate than job openings.
This is consistent with the recent cooling in nonfarm payrolls growth that one would expect in a tight labor market where employers are having a difficult time filling vacancies. Moreover, the number of unemployed Americans per job opening fell to just 0.82 in October, a new all-time low that implies there are more vacant positions than job seekers at the moment. Further, nearly two-thirds of all separations in October were due to workers quitting, highlighting Americans’ increased willingness to give up their current job security for better employment opportunities. Although supportive of wage growth, this environment can also lead to higher consumer inflation as businesses try to pass on the rising cost of labor.
Sources: Econoday, U.S. DoL, FRBSL
Post author: Charles Couch