Job Openings Jump to Record High in August;

 By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist


  • Job openings at the end of August ROSE to a record high 7.14 million from July 14 percent higher than unemployment
  • The number of hires ROSE 1.2 percent to a record 5.78 million in August
  • The ratio of job openings per unemployed ROSE to 1.14 in August;


  • Job openings exceeded unemployed for the fourth month in a row;
  • The ratio of quits to layoffs – a sign of confidence in the labor market – was 2.0 to one in August meaning twice as many people left jobs voluntarily as were laid off;

Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Image result for hiring

That the JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) report for August showed a continuation of the trend we’ve seen in the labor market for several months with available jobs remaining unfilled as a skills mismatch among workers continues.

The job openings data tracks new jobs as reported in the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly Employment Situation report. While the monthly report is a snapshot of the labor market, the JOLTS data resemble more of a moving picture.

With the number of unemployed persons dropping to under six million in September, the JOLTS reports will likely only improve.

Hiring, according to the August JOLTS data, is now on a pace for 67.6 million which would be 3.6 percent higher than last year. The JOLTS report of job openings by industry also suggests an uptick in reported hourly and weekly earnings as some of the higher paying industry sectors: business and professional services, construction and health and education services showed relatively high ratios of unemployed to job openings.

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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