State of the Labor Market

November 2019 JOLTS Report: Employer Demand Keeps Declining

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Job openings in 2019 continued to trend down, which is another sign that employers are pulling back demand across a variety of industries. Previously, job openings were declining while hiring seemed more resilient, but with hiring growth flattening out, the decline in openings becomes more concerning.

The good news is that job openings still continue to outnumber unemployed workers, which has been the case for 21 straight months. The bad news is that this ratio jumped in November. While it is still below one, the last time it was this high was in February 2019. 

This ratio had been steadily declining as the labor market improved, but it’s been leveling off for most of 2019. The result is that the average job seeker isn’t seeing an improvement in their bargaining power. This trend also shows up in the quits rate, which is fairly strong but still stagnant.

For job seekers, things are still good — but don’t expect things to get better. If you are in the position to take advantage, do it now and don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

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