Job Openings Hit Record High in June; Hiring Pace Would Top 2016


By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist



  • Job openings hit a RECORD HIGH at the end of June: up 461,000 from May to 6.16 million
  • Hiring FELL 1.9 percent in June or 103,000 to 5.36 million
  • The ratio of unemployed to job opening in June FELL to 1.13 from 1.20 in May

Image result for bls jolts

While the economy added 231,000 jobs in June, the number of job openings jumped to a record high, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).  Despite the record number of job openings, the jobs report for July showed a smaller payroll increase, 209,000.

The explanation might be the distinction of how job openings are reported to the BLS: only those positions which a company plans to fill within 30 days are considered job “openings”

That the number of job openings at the end of May (5.7 million) exceeded the number of June (5,4 million) may be a sign employers are having difficulty finding candidates for available jobs. The logic would suggest higher wages in the offing. But, at the same time in June the number of “quits” declined – albeit slightly an indicator perhaps of latent softness in the labor market t as workers were not as confident in June in their ability to get a new job as they were in May.

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.

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.


Job hires through June are on a pace to total 63.7 million, about 1.4 percent more than the 62.8 million hires in 2016, and the most since the JOLTS survey began in 2001.


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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