After nearly two years of being rangebound between 5.5 and 6 million, the BLS's JOLTS report - Janet Yellen's favorite labor market indicator- showed that the recent surge in job openings which was observed first last month, when job openings smashed expectations above 6 million for the first time ever, continued in July when the total number of job opening rose to a new record high of 6.170 million, an increase of 54k on the month, and well above the 6.0mm consensus forecast. The July job opening rate, or openings as a % of total employment plus openings, remained at a record high of 4.
The number of job openings was little changed for total private and decreased for government (-58,000). Job openings increased in a number of industries with the largest increases occurring in other services (+111,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+70,000), and educational services (+26,000). Job openings decreased in health care and social assistance (-72,000), state and local government, excluding education (-46,000), and federal government (-21,000).
Now if only employers could find potential employees that can pass their drug test...
Aside from the unexpected surge in job openings, the rest of the report was more subdued, with the pace of hiring reverseing last month's decline, and rising by 69,000 to 5.501 million...
... pushing the hires rate up from 3.7% to 3.8%. The number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. The number of hires increased for federal government (+9,000), and was little changed for all other industries. On an annual basis, the pace of hiring slowed down modestly, rising by 3.2% in July, down from the 4.9% in June.
Finally, the other closely watched category, the level of quits - which indicates workers' confidence they can leverage their existing skills and find a better paying job - also reversed last month's decline, and rose from 3.13MM to 3.164MM, with the June print remaining just shy of recent all time highs hit last month: the quits rate was 2.2 percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and for government. Quits decreased in educational services (-16,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four regions. (See table 4.).
Separately, there were 1.8 million layoffs and discharges in July, little changed from June. The layoffs and discharges rate was 1.2 percent in July. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total private and for government. The layoffs and discharges level increased in federal government (+9,000). The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four regions.