Fri Apr 13 09:00:00 CDT 2018

Consensus Consensus Range Actual Previous Revised
Job Openings 6.143M 6.000M to 6.350M 6.052M 6.312M 6.228M

Job openings fell back 2.8 percent in February to 6.052 million but still remain well out in front of hirings which fell 1.2 percent to 5.507 million. Year-on-year, openings are up 7.7 percent vs only a 4.6 percent rise for hirings.

The 0.545 million gap between openings and hirings is very wide and hints at full employment, that is there are more jobs than workers. And employers aren't taking any risks with the workers they have, evidenced by separations which fell 2.4 percent to 5.192 million.

Lack of available labor could be an increasing factor that holds back business expansion. Useful comparisons for this report are the 6.585 million unemployed actively looking for work and the 11.681 million in the total available labor pool.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
Job openings are expected to ease back in February to a consensus 6.143 million from January's unusually strong 6.312 million. Openings have been getting further ahead of hirings suggesting that employers are having trouble finding candidates to fill slots.

The Labor Department's JOLTS report tracks monthly change in job openings and offers rates on hiring and quits. The reporting period lags other employment data including the employment situation report. The word JOLTS stands for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

Although lagging the release timing of the employment situation report by a month, JOLTS provides additional information on the labor market. The payroll survey in the employment situation report provides numbers on net job changes. JOLTS breaks down labor market data into pre-net changesâ€such as job openings, hires, and separations.