There were 2.5 million job openings on the last business day of October 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The job openings rate was unchanged over the month at 1.9 percent. The openings rate has held relatively steady since March 2009. The hires rate (3.0 percent) and the separations rate (3.2 percent) were essentially unchanged and remained low.Calculated Risk with some thoughts on the release:
I'm not sure if openings are predictive of future hires (the data set is limited), but openings near a series low can't be a positive. Separations have declined sharply, with fewer quits and layoffs, but hiring has not picked up. And quits at a series low suggests those that are employed were holding on to their current jobs in October.And why should they quit? The level of openings as compared to the number of unemployed is at a series high (data only goes back to 2000) with once again more than 6 unemployed individuals per job opening.