Feb 13, 2020 - Economy

The latest job openings report was even worse than advertised

Data: BLS via Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report showed the lowest number of openings in two years, but the rest of the report revealed some other negative facts about the labor market.

Details: November and December saw the largest two-month drop in job openings on record, dating back to 2001, notes Lou Brien, rates strategist at DRW Trading.

  • The number of job openings saw a net decline of 1.06 million in 2019. It was the first calendar year that overall job openings have declined since 2009 and is the largest decline for any year since 2008, when the number of openings fell by 1.34 million.
  • The 12-month net change in job openings has been negative for the last seven months. From 2010 through the early part of 2019 there were only five months when the 12-month net change was negative; fewer in a decade than there has been since last June.

Of note: The downward revisions to the jobs report announced earlier this month was 514,000, which was a 20% reduction in the number of jobs added and the largest downward revision for any year ending in March since 2009, Brien says.

Go deeper: U.S. economy adds 145,000 jobs in final report of 2019

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