Job openings hit 10.9M, fifth straight record high

Why did the August jobs report miss expectations?

EmployBridge chief workforce analyst Joanie Bily and market analyst Kenny Polcari provide their insight into the August jobs report. 

The number of job openings in the U.S. hit a record high for a fifth straight month in July as employers continued to have difficulty finding workers. 

The total number of job openings rose by 749,000 to a seasonally adjusted 10.934 million at the end of July, according to the Labor Department’s Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS. The number of job openings in June was revised higher by 112,000 to 10.185 million. 

Economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting 10 million available jobs. 

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The number of hires held at 6.7 million in July with decreases in retail trade (-277,000), durable goods manufacturing (-41,000) and educational services (-23,000). 

Hiring increased in state and local government education (+33,000) and in federal government (+21,000). 

All four regions reported hiring was little changed. 

The total number of separations ticked up to 5.8 million. 

Quits were little changed at 4 million while the quit rate held steady at 2.7%. 

Wholesale trade (+34,000) and in-state and local government education (+14,000) saw an increase in quits while transportation, warehousing and utilities (-25,000) and the federal government (-5,000) saw declines.

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There have been 72.6 million hires and 65.6 million separations over the past 12 months, resulting in a net employment gain of 7 million.

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