The Labor Department data is often written with what feels like a political bend, but admittedly that has been the case for more than two decades now. So when today’s Labor Department report on job openings in September was listed as “essentially unchanged from August” it seemed suspect because the drop was rather large versus using the term “unchanged” in it.
One issue is that the report on jobs and unemployment for September was so controversial when it came out a month ago. Many did not believe the numbers, and Jack Welch even went public accusing the numbers of being made up.
Today’s report showed that the total number of job openings at the end of September was 3.6 million. That figure is actually rounded up from 3.561 million and that compares to 3.661 million job openings in August. Sadly, it is barely up from the 3.501 million in September 2011.
The hires rate fell from 4,440 in August down to 4,185 in September, while the separations rate fell from 4,355 in August down to 4,024 in September. In summary the report said, “Job openings increased over the year for nondurable goods manufacturing, finance and insurance, real estate and rental and leasing, health care and social assistance, and federal government, but fell in mining and logging, durable goods manufacturing, and state and local government.”
The report might be “essentially unchanged from August” to Labor market statisticians, but that is still 100,000 fewer job openings. Getting these open job positions filled is another matter.
JON C. OGG