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BLS: Job Openings “Fell” to 6.4 Million in December

Notes: In December there were 6.423 million job openings, and, according to the December Employment report, there were 5.753 million unemployed. So, for the twenty-second consecutive month, there were more job openings than people unemployed. Also note that the number of job openings has exceeded the number of hires since January 2015 (almost 5 years).

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings fell to 6.4 million (-364,000) on the last business day of December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.9 million and 5.7 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate and layoffs and discharges rate were unchanged at 2.3 percent and 1.2 percent respectively. …

The number of quits was little changed in December at 3.5 million and the rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent. Quits decreased in retail trade (-111,000) and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-20,000).
emphasis added

The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (dark blue), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.

This series started in December 2000.

Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. This report is for December, the most recent employment report was for January.

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