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Job Openings in America - 9/22/19

According to the U.S. Labor Department’s job opportunities and labor turnover survey, also known as the Jolts survey, the number of job openings in America climbed to a new record of five point nine million at the end of July. 

The number of openings for jobseekers in professional and health services are particularly elevated relative to previous highs.  The number of unemployed workers per available job opening has declined to just one point three, the lowest ratio recorded since two thousand and one. 

While available job openings are not being filled as quickly as was the case earlier in the year, perhaps because of growing skills gaps, more people are being hired each month than leaving a job.  That means that the total number of jobs supported by the U.S. economy continues to expand. 

As pointed out by writer Josh Zumbrun, when people are separated from their jobs, they are much more likely to have left voluntarily than through layoffs.  During the height of the recession, the pattern was reversed, with layoffs elevated and many people clinging to their jobs. 

The most recent Jolts survey data suggest that job growth will continue to be decent during the months ahead, which should help support ongoing household spending growth.   

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.