U.S. employers advertised more jobs in September than at any other point in the past three years. The increase suggests hiring could pick up in the next few months. Competition for jobs is fierce. And many employers aren't rushing to fill some because they are worried about the strength of the economy. Still, most economists say the increase in openings is a reassuring sign. Nearly 3.4 million jobs were posted in September, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That's the most since August 2008, one month before the financial crisis intensified.
Digging into the data, we see that hiring, openings, and layoffs are moving in the right direction, but the levels of hiring and openings are still significantly below pre-crisis levels. Also note that while job openings are bouncing, we haven't seen the same improvement in actual hiring (perhaps this points to the difficulty in finding talent and/or we are due for a bounce in hiring).
Diving a bit deeper, the below chart shows the ratio of quits and hires to layoffs. In a nutshell, when people are confident enough to quit or are being hired at an increasing pace relative to layoffs, it means things are improving.
So we are bouncing off of lows (a good thing), but still need a lot of improvement.