A Job for Almost Everyone Who Wants One!

 By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist


  • Job openings at the end of October FELL 2.9 percent from September to just under 6 million, – but were 7.3 percent ahead of a year earlier;
  • The number of hires ROSE 232,000 in October to the highest level of the year, 5,552,000
  • The ratio of unemployed to job opening in October was 1.04 meaning there was just about one job opening for every unemployed person, the lowest ratio since the JOLTS report began in 2000;

Image result for hiring

Offering further evidence that the labor market  is sizzling, the ratio of job openings to available workers fell to its lowest level in the 17-year history of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Monday.

In the 12 months ending in October, hires totaled 64.3 million and separations totaled 62.2 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.1 million.

The job openings rate fell to 3.9 in October from 4.0 in September. The rate, according to the BLS, is computed by dividing the number of job openings by the sum of employment and job openings and multiplying that quotient by 100.

Job openings, according to the BLS, increased in accommodation and food services (+94,000), construction (+48,000), and real estate and rental and leasing (+40,000). Job openings decreased in wholesale trade (-90,000), finance and insurance (-47,000), information (-32,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (-26,000).

The JOLTS report tracks the ins and outs of the labor market as contrasted with the BLS Employment Situation report which reports net changes. Differences can result though as the same individual can be counted in more than one category.

Despite the slight dip in job openings at the end of October, employers added 228,000 jobs in November, the BLS reported last Friday. According to the BLS, a “job opening” means a specific position exists and there is work available for that position, full-time or part-time. The job can be permanent, short-term, or seasonal and there is active recruiting for workers from outside the establishment location that has the opening. Openings for positions with start dates more than 30 days in the future are not included in the job openings count for a specific month.

October hires represented just under 90 percent of the September openings. In the first nine months of the year, hires represented almost 92 percent of prior month openings.

Through October, the US economy was on pace for 64,469,000 hires this year which would be the greatest number of hires since the JOLTS survey began.

You can hear Mark Lieberman on P.O.T.U.S Morning Briefing (Sirius 124) every Friday at 6:20 am Eastern Time. Follow him on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

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