December 2019 JOLTS Report: Another Drop in Job Openings
Last year closed with another drop in the number of job openings. The smaller number of unemployed workers caused the ratio of unemployed-workers-to-job-vacancies to rise for the second straight month. And though there are still more job openings than unemployed workers for the 22nd straight month, this trend is concerning.
The quits rate remained unchanged at 2.3%, where it has been since September. It has been hovering around that rate since the middle of 2018 where it plateaued after rising for several years. A higher quits rate is typically a signal of worker optimism. At 2.3%, this is a good number but not a great one, especially as it remains stagnant.
While the ratio of unemployed workers to job vacancies is something to watch, there are still lots of job openings out there. Now is still a good time to look for a new job, but these opportunities might not last forever.
Tara Sinclair is an associate professor of economics and international affairs at the George Washington University and a senior fellow of the Indeed Hiring Lab. She has a PhD in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and her research focuses on modeling, explaining, and forecasting trends in the labor market and other macroeconomic variables both in the US and worldwide. For the Hiring Lab, Tara is working on research projects using Indeed’s unique data to develop new insights into the labor market.