U.S. Job Openings, Layoffs Fall To Six-month Lows In November

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WASHINGTON (P3P) – U.S. job openings fell for a second straight month in November, with declines within the manufacturing and actual property sectors, supporting economist forecasts that job progress will sluggish in 2018.

The month-to-month Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, launched by the Labor Division on Tuesday, additionally discovered that layoffs dropped to a six-month low, nevertheless, exhibiting continued labor market power.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, fell by 46,000 to a seasonally adjusted 5.88 million, the bottom degree since Might. The job openings price was three.eight p.c, a decline from October’s three.9 p.c.

“The current declines adopted a pointy run up over the primary three quarters of 2017,” mentioned Sarah Home, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina. “If sustained, this means a extra reasonable tempo of hiring forward.”

Hiring dropped 104,000 to five.49 million in November, and the hiring price dipped to three.7 p.c from three.eight p.c. Economists anticipate job progress this yr to sluggish to effectively under the 2017 month-to-month common of 170,000 because the labor market hits full employment.

The unemployment price is at a 17-year low of four.1 p.c and economists anticipate it to drop to three.5 p.c by the top of 2018. Non-farm payrolls rose 148,000 in December.

“Just like the current readings on payrolls and preliminary claims, we see some moderation within the labor market information off of robust ranges,” mentioned Daniel Silver, an economist at JP Morgan in New York.

There have been 378,000 job openings in manufacturing in November, down from 409,000 in October. The transportation, warehousing, and utilities sector noticed a 60,000 drop in job openings. There was a 39,000 decline in job openings in the true property and rental and leasing sector.

However job openings within the troubled retail sector elevated 88,000 in November. The sector misplaced 67,000 jobs in 2017 as retailers, reeling from stiff competitors from on-line sellers like Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), closed shops.

The JOLTS report additionally confirmed layoffs lowering 7,000 to 1.67 million in November. That was the bottom degree since Might and marked 5 straight months of declines.

There was a slight drop within the variety of individuals voluntarily quitting their jobs, leaving the quits price unchanged at 2.2 p.c for a 3rd straight month. The Federal Reserve appears to be like on the quits price as a measure of job market confidence.

“The low turnover charges point out that there’s much less motion within the labor market than at different occasions after we’ve had very low unemployment,” mentioned Cathy Barrera, chief economist at ZipRecruiter. “It’s nice for the labor market to be close to full employment, but when staff are staying put, then there may be little strain for employers to boost wages.”

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