US Job Openings Back on Rise, Confirming Payrolls Recovery

Thursday’s report on weekly jobless claims was very good, but perhaps not good enough when considering that expectations were even better. Another report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) report, shows that the number of openings rose to 5.526 million in September from 5.377 million in August.

The BLS JOLTS report is actually better than the summary might indicate. The official JOLTS report was again referring to “little changed” for job openings, and in the hires and separations segment.

What matters is that the report from a month ago had indicated a sharp drop in job openings, and that had coincided with a sharp drop in the payrolls added. This would seem to confirm that there was a one-month fluke and that the overall payrolls and jobs picture is better than we might have been concerned about a month ago.

The JOLTS report showed that the quits rate was 1.9% and the layoffs and discharges rate was 1.2%.

More data on job openings were shown as follows, with one key negative at the end:

  • Professional and business services, +311,000
  • Health care and social assistance, +191,000
  • Retail trade, +184,000
  • Mining and logging, which is oil too, -16,000

The number of job openings increased over the year in all four regions:

  • South, +283,000
  • West, +259,000
  • Midwest, +208,000
  • Northeast, +102,000

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