WASHINGTON (12/9/15)--The number of job openings across the United States ticked down to 5.4 million from 5.5 million in October, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The vacancy rate also fell to 3.6% during the month, with professional/business services as the only industry to record a significant drop, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey found.
Employers hired 5.1 million workers in October, the same pace as the previous month and the same as the average over the prior three months. The hires rate remained unchanged at 3.6%.
“The hires rate remains significantly lower than the prerecession rate, though,” said Efua Afful, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com Dec. 8). “The labor market is tightening. There were 143 job seekers for every 100 vacancies in September, down from 197 job seekers a year earlier.”
Overall separations remained unchanged at 4.9 million, while voluntary separations dropped to 2.9 million and the number of layoffs or discharges fell to 1.8 million from 2 million.
By region, the Midwest maintained the highest vacancy rate at 3.9%, while the vacancy rate in the West and South fell by 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. The vacancy rate in the Northeast was unchanged in October.
“The good news is that employers do not expect business conditions to deteriorate in the near term,” Afful said. “Therefore, layoffs and discharges declined across regions. This supports the jobs report, which showed that the number of job ‘losers’ and individuals who completed temporary jobs declined, while the number of job ‘leavers’ rose.”