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Job openings outnumber unemployed for third month

August 07, 2018

US job openings, hires and separations were little changed in June compared to the previous month’s, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. However, the number of job openings in June, which totaled 6.7 million, was greater than the number of unemployed people in June, which totaled 6.6 million, according to updated BLS numbers released last week.

The Associated Press reported this is the third straight month openings have outnumbered the unemployed. MarketWatch also reported job openings were at their third-highest level on record.

Job openings were up slightly from May, but down from April’s level of 6.8 million.

The BLS report also measures the “quits” portion of separations, where workers leave a job voluntarily. Quits fell to 3.40 million in June from 3.48 million in May. However, the quits rate has held steady at 2.3% since March.

Job Openings, Hires and Separations for June 2018 (000s)

  June     2017 May     2018 June     2018 m/m change m/m% change y/y     change y/y % change
Job openings 6,125 6,659 6,662 3 0.0% 537 8.8%
Hires 5,467 5,747 5,651 -96 -1.7% 184 3.4%
Total separations 5,296 5,419 5,502 83 1.5% 206 3.9%

Job Openings, Hires and Separations rates for June 2018

Job openings 4.0% 4.3% 4.3% 0 bps - 30 bps -
Hires 3.7% 3.9% 3.8% -10 bps - 10 bps -
Total separations 3.6% 3.6% 3.7% 10 bps - 10 bps -

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics; bps=basis points

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