Wed Oct 11 09:00:00 CDT 2017

Consensus Consensus Range Actual Previous Revised
Job Openings 6.160M 6.000M to 6.200M 6.082M 6.170M 6.140M

Job openings held steady at a very abundant 6.082 million in August while hirings remained far behind, at 5.430 million. In an early indication of full employment, the gap between openings and hiring first opened up about 2-1/2 years ago signaling that employers are either not willing to offer high enough pay to fill empty positions and/or are having a hard time finding people with the right skills. At 652,000, the current spread between openings and hirings is one of the very widest on record.

For comparison, the number of job seekers who are out actively pounding the pavement is 6.911 million which is very near the total number of available openings. Today's results offer further evidence that the economy is at full employment and will likely add urgency for further Federal Reserve rate hikes.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
Tight conditions in the labor market are the signals from the labor market's 4.2 percent unemployment rate and are consistent with the JOLTS report. Job openings in the report rose to 6.170 million in July and were far ahead of hirings at 5.501 million. This separation indicates that employers are having a hard time filling slots. Econoday's consensus for August job openings is a steady reading at 6.160 million.

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.