Economist's Insights

JOLTS Report Shows Job Openings Surge to New Record High

Jun 6, 2017

The April JOLTS report, released on a one month lag of the monthly nonfarm payroll report, showed the number of job openings rose to its highest level in the data’s 17-year history. The number of openings rose 259k, the biggest monthly increase since last July, to 6.044MM openings. Openings in the leisure and hospitality industry rose the most (+112k) but the construction industry (+42k) and the financial services industry (+46k) also saw notable increases. The number of manufacturing openings (-45k) declined for the first time in six months. The net effect was the openings rate rising to 4.0%, matching its highest level of the series. Elsewhere in the report, hires slowed (the hires rate matched its lowest level since March 2014) and total separations fell as both quits and layoffs declined. The combination of record openings, slower hires, and low layoffs is yet another sign of continued tightening in the labor market.