On the last day of business in December, job openings fell by 364,000 to a total of 6.4 million openings. According to the latest JOLTS Report, the number of hires and separations changed little over the month, with 5.9 million and 5.7 million, respectively. And although the number of job openings continues to decline, the quite rate has held steady at 2.3% for four months now, indicating that Americans are still optimistic about the labor market. Here is an overview of the latest JOLTS Report:
JOLTS Report Summary
- Job Openings: 6.4 million
- Hires: 5.9 million
- Separations: 5.7 million
- Voluntary: 3.5 million
- Involuntary: 1.9 million
- Quite Rate: 2.3%
- Net Employment Gain: 2.2 million
The labor market is holding steady
Once again, job openings fell in December (to a two-year low), which is discouraging many Americans. Notable industries with fewer job openings are retail and manufacturing, both falling to the lowest level since mid-2017. However, the net employment gain remained positive. Over the last 12 months (ending in December), hires totaled 70 million and separations amassed to 67.8 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.2 million.
If you pair the net employment gain with the 225,000 jobs added in January, the labor market is still humming along in the new year. Therefore, job seekers’ confidence in the labor market is growing. Last month, the labor force participation rate rose by 0.2% to 63.4%. As a result, 574,000 Americans re-entered the workforce, forcing the unemployment rate to tick up by 0.1% to a total of 3.6%. In other words, despite a brief decline in job openings, confidence remains in today’s overall job market.
Recruit the help of a professional
The job market is still holding firm, and there are no signs of this changing in the near future. If your team needs help navigating today’s labor market, it may be time to recruit the assistance of a professional. At Johnson Service Group, we have an experienced team of recruiters waiting to make an impact on your organization. Reach out to us today, and let’s see how we can improve your hiring efforts in 2020.