US Job Openings Just Plunged. But Nowhere Near Enough

US Job Openings Just Plunged. But Nowhere Near Enough

US job openings fell more than expected in June, but hires were mostly unchanged and quits remained extraordinarily elevated, underscoring the intractability of inflationary labor market distortions in the world's largest economy. Openings dropped more than 600,000 to 10.7 million on the last business day of June, key data out Tuesday showed. Economists expected a decline half that size. Hires fell to 6.37 million from 6.5 million in May, leaving the gap near the widest on record, even as it a
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7 thoughts on “US Job Openings Just Plunged. But Nowhere Near Enough

  1. I finally roused myself to go to the DOL website and check: the definition. JOLTS “INCLUDES: Full-time and part-time employees Permanent, short-term, and seasonal employees”

    I could not easily find a breakdown between the full and part time positions cited in the monthly data.

    Yes, part time and seasonal jobs are jobs. But could Dr. Waller survive on part-time wages?

    1. It would be illuminating to see a breakdown of job openings by FT/PT, wage level, skill level, etc.
      When I was in high school/college, I (and most of my friends) had seasonal jobs.
      In the last decade, I noticed that only a small percentage of my kids’ friends had summer jobs. (My kids all had jobs). It would not be the worst thing if seasonal jobs get filled by high school and college aged people again. Great work experience.

    2. The JOLTS data has always short term and part time openings. Unless you can make the case that the elevated JOLTS numbers are entirely due to an increase in those jobs, I believe H’s point remains valid. I expect that ratio between full time permanent openings and those less desirable openings has remained pretty constant.

  2. Do not worry, the job market is going to roll over soon. Housing is in the early innings of a downturn and manufacturing is too. It may take a couple of quarters but once it switches it is going to switch fast. Most leading indicators are much weaker. It is only a matter of time…..

  3. I think JOLTS openings can fall rapidly now. I’ve been looking at the “excess openings”, which is the extent to which each month’s job openings exceeds the prior month’s job openings less the month’s net hires (net hires = hires less total separations).

    In 2021 and early 2022 excess openings was very positive. Employers were adding more and more new job openings, even while they were already adding new employees faster than they were losing existing employees (net hires have been significantly positive, above +0.5MM/mo.)

    In 1Q22 cumulative net hires since the pandemic started went positive, meaning employers had added back all the employees they lost, and further new job openings and net hires would be for growth and expansion. With small businesses not in an expansionary mood, and large companies now pulling back, I think openings are likely to decline pretty steeply. Yes, quits get all the attention and have been very elevated, but total separations have not been much above-trend, because fires (layoffs, discharges, etc) have been very depressed.

    And . . . “excess openings” just went negative.

    Data here
    https://www.bls.gov/jlt/#data

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