WASHINGTON (1/14/15)--Companies carved out more space in their budgets for staff for the second straight month in November, as the number of job openings climbed to 4.97 million from 4.83 million for the month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Economy.com Jan. 13).
Despite the job-opening expansion, however, the hiring rate fell for the month, with the number of hired workers dropping to 4.99 million in November from 5.1 million in October.
Moody's analysts believe the shortage in hiring could be a result of fewer workers quitting their jobs and fewer layoffs, as only 4.62 million separations were reported compared with 4.86 million the prior month.
Hiring often reflects labor market churn, or the level of job-turnover activity.
"Employers are seeking to expand staffing," said Sophia Koropeckyj, Moody's analyst (Economy.com). "This suggests that employers are seeking to grow their revenues through expansions and are expanding to meet steady demand. They are beyond the point where profits can be enhanced by cutting costs, and they can squeeze no more out of their existing workforces."
Job openings rose in nearly every industry, according to Moody's, with the exceptions of healthcare and leisure and hospitality. Professional and business services saw the highest rate of job expansion at 5.1%.
The hiring rate dropped to 3.6% from 3.7%, with the majority of industries posting sliding levels in hiring, save for leisure and hospitality, according to the data.
The separation rate also fell, however, to 3.3% from 3.5%, with the number of workers laid off dropping to 1.61 million from 1.76 million, and the number of employees to quit their jobs scaling back to 2.62 million from 2.71 million.
The quit rate, which can show how confident workers are in the ability to find employment, dropped to 1.9% from 2% in November.
"Although the number of people who left their jobs voluntarily reversed slightly, the number is still trending higher," Koropeckyj said. "Yet, at 1.9%, it still falls short of the prerecession rate of 2.2%."