US Job Openings Surge in October, But Weakening Trend Expected With Delayed Print

Before the second wave of the pandemic enveloped the entirety of the US and plunged the economy into an extended state of dreariness, the month of October saw a modest improvement in job openings, which soared by 158,000 to 6.652 million – well above the 6.3 million forecasted. However, given the current grim state of things and long wait times for JOLTs data to be reported, it is likely that October will be the final month of positive labour market outcomes before the forthcoming November data is released in January.

Anyhow, focusing on the most recent data, the BLS JOLTs report found that job openings fell across numerous industries, especially in retail trade, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. On the other hand, durable goods manufacturing and nondurable goods manufacturing were the only industries that experienced a rise in job openings.

Independently, the long trend of more job openings than unemployed Americans came to a sudden end in March amid widespread economic shutdowns, leaving April with 18 million more unemployed individuals than there were job openings. Although the biggest gap on record has since modestly subsided, there still continue to be 4.4 million more people unemployed than available job openings in October. This thus translates to approximately 1.7 unemployed workers for each job opening for the month of October, compared to the 4.6 individuals per job opening witnessed back in April.

In the meantime, hirings increased by 5.81 million in October, which is a 74,000 drop from the month prior, and the second consecutive month of declines. Some of the largest hiring declines were in wholesale trade which fell by 81,000, followed by other services and federal government, with each registering declines of 74,000 and 12,000, respectively.

Lastly, following the record number of Americans quitting their jobs back in June, the month of October continued to see the number of quits increasing, but now at a modest pace. The latest JOLTs data shows that an additional 18,000 people had walked away from their job, bringing the total to 3.092 million. The largest proportion of quits occurred in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry, as 17,000 Americans walked away from their job, followed by the federal government sector, which saw a total of 7,000 quits.

Information for this briefing was found via the BLS. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply