Job openings hit the lowest level in 18 months, but still ahead of vacancies

The job openings hit their lowest level in 18 months in September as the labor market continued to tighten, according to a Labor Department Tuesday.

Total vacancies fell to 7.02 million for the month, a decrease of 277,000 from August, shows the labor opening and the labor force survey. Although it is lagging behind other releases after a month, the so-called JOLTS report is closely followed by the Federal Reserve authorities as an indicator of labor market health.

The job opening rate dropped to 4.4% from 4.6% in August.

However, the total number of positions is still far ahead of the reported 5.8 million people looking for work during the month. The last vacancies below 7 million were in March 201[ads1]8.

The graduation rate, a measure of confidence and mobility that measures how many workers who voluntarily left the job, was reduced to 2.3% for the month when the total fell by 103,000 to 3 , 5 million.

Rent increased by 50,000 to 5.93 million, while total separations increased by 76,000 to 5.81 million. The employment rate remained unchanged at 3.9% while the dividing line also held 3.8%.

Wage duties overall did not increase by 180,000 in September, while the total employment rate rose to 158.3 million and unemployment fell to 3.5%. Data released Friday showed wage growth of 128,000 in October, with unemployment up 3.6%.

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