Few Major Surprises in Job Openings (JOLTS) Report

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has issued its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, or the JOLTS report. This is the number of job openings in America and comes with a one-month lag, compared with the payrolls and unemployment from each month. While the number of the job openings and turnovers do not move the markets, they can confirm trends in the jobs market or they can show anomalies.

The U.S. Department of Labor showed 5.486 million job openings in September. Bloomberg was calling for closer to 5.51 million. The readings in August and July were 5.443 million and 5.831 million, respectively.

Hires ticked lower to 5.1 million in September, and total separations was little changed at 4.9 million. Within separations, the so-called quits rate was unchanged at 2.1% and the layoffs and discharges rate fell to 1.0%. The job openings rate was 3.7% in September.

The number of quits was little changed in September at 3.1 million. Over  the month, the number of quits was little changed for total private and increased for government (+36,000).

Despite the low number of payrolls gains, which have been trending low in the monthly payrolls and unemployment reports, the BLS showed that there were 1.5 million layoffs and discharges in September. That is down some 218,000 from August.

Unlike prior months, the number of job openings was not just due to the leisure and hospitality industry, nor due to accommodation and food services. The total leisure and hospitality job openings was down from 749,000 in August to 701,000 in September, and if you break out the accommodation and food services from this, it was down from 675,000 in August to 637,000 in September.