WASHINGTON (11/14/14)--Companies are hiring more employees and more workers are becoming more confident about their job prospects, as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported positive trends for September.
Gross hiring jumped to more than 5 million workers in September, up from 4.7 million in August. Meanwhile, 4.8 million people left their jobs, up from 4.5 million in the prior month (Economy.com Nov. 13).
While overall job openings fell to 4.74 million from 4.85 million for the month, the fact that employers are filling jobs at a higher rate may indicate the job market is pointing in the right direction, according to Moody's analysts.
"Since the beginning of the year, job openings have been growing much more strongly than hiring," said Sophia Koropeckyj, Moody's analyst (Economy.com). "This disconnect was explained by employers being picky, job mismatches and the low desirability of the available jobs (part-time or low-paying). Though growth in hiring still lags behind openings on a year-over-year basis, the difference narrowed in September."
Hiring picked up in most industries, with the exception of construction and trade, transportation and utilities, according to Moody's. Regionally, however, hiring accelerated across the board with the Midwest and the South posting the strongest gains.
The quit rate climbed to 2% from 1.8% for the month; the layoff rate was unchanged at 1.2%; and the number of unemployed workers per job opening fell to 1.96 from 1.98.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said tracking the quit rate is important in particular, as increases would signal that workers believe their chances of being rehired are improving.
"In other words, that labor demand has strengthened," she said (MarketWatch Nov. 13).