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Job Openings Remain Strong, Rise Toward Record Level, Positive Revisions

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTs) for July surprised to the upside.
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Jobs Data from BLS, chart by Mish

Jobs Data from BLS, chart by Mish

Please consider the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTs) for July.

Job Openings 

  • On the last business day of July, the number and rate of job openings were little changed at 11.2 million and 6.9 percent, respectively. 
  • Job openings increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+81,000); arts, entertainment, and recreation (+53,000); federal government (+47,000); and state and local government education (+42,000). 
  • Job openings decreased in durable goods manufacturing (-47,000). 

Hires 

  • In July, the number of hires was little changed at 6.4 million and the rate was unchanged at 4.2 percent. 
  • Hires were little changed in all industries. 

Separations 

  • Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs.
  • Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer.
  • Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.  
  • In July, the number and rate of total separations were little changed at 5.9 million and 3.9 percent, respectively. 
  • Total separations increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+65,000).
  • In July, the number and rate of quits were little changed at 4.2 million and 2.7 percent, respectively. 
  • Quits decreased in health care and social assistance (-73,000) and in state and local government education (-21,000). 
  • Quits increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+39,000). 
  • In July, the number of layoffs and discharges was little changed at 1.4 million and the rate was unchanged at 0.9 percent. Layoffs and discharges were little changed in all industries.
  • The number of other separations was little changed in July at 352,000. Other separations increased in wholesale trade (+10,000); information (+8,000); and nondurable goods manufacturing (+6,000). Other separations decreased in accommodation and food services (-25,000) and in federal government (-4,000). 

Reflections on Openings

Upward Surprise

The Bloomberg Econoday consensus was for a slight dip from 10.689 million openings to 10.4 million openings. 

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Instead, the BLS revised June up to 11.040 million openings with July at 11.239 million openings. 

The record high number of openings was 11.855 million in March of 2022. 

The jobs data will keep expectations of more and faster rate hikes by the Fed on the table for the next meeting in September. 

Jobs data is consistent with my view Expect a Long Period of Weak Growth, Whether or Not It's Labeled Recession.

And it's Fed Chair Jerome Powell's view as well, one of the few things we agree on. For discussion, please see Fed Chair Jerome Powell Pledges to "Act With Resolve" to Beat Inflation

This post originated at MishTalk.Com.

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