Labor picture still solid despite fewer job openings in June

August 13, 2015

WASHINGTON (8/13/15)--While the number of available jobs slimmed in June, the job opening rate remained at 3.6%, illustrating the continued improving health of the labor market, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS) ( Aug. 12).

Available jobs dropped to 5.25 million from 5.36 million during the month, while hiring ticked up to 5.2 million people up from 5.1 million.

“Labor market conditions remain on a steady course of improvement, according to the JOLTS June report,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, Moody’s analyst ( “Although the number of available jobs slipped slightly and layoffs increased slightly, the trends point in the right direction.”

Separations climbed to 4.931 million from 4.799 million during the month, while net hiring dropped to 220,000 from 260,000.

Further, the quit rate remained unchanged at 1.9% in June, and accounted for 56% of all job separations--near a cyclical high, according to Moody’s.

Layoffs also rose, climbing to 1.79 million from 1.66 million, and accounted for 36% of all separations.

On a regional basis, the South and Midwest continue to strengthen, with job opening rates of 3.9% and 3.7% respectively, while the Northeast has started to lag, posting a rate of 2.9% for the month.

“The Northeast is creating fewer jobs and hiring fewer workers, but there is also less turnover in the region,” Koropeckyj said.