Feb 13, 2020 - Economy & Business

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

Go deeper

Job openings in 2019 saw steepest drop since the financial crisis

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

The number of job openings in the U.S. declined consistently throughout 2019 and took a nosedive in the last two months of the year, the government's December Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed.

The state of play: Job openings declined by 364,000 in December after a decline of 561,000 in November.

U.S. economy adds 225,000 jobs in January

Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. economy added 225,000 jobs in January, the government said on Friday, far above economists’ expectations of 161,000. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6% — just above last month's 50-year low of 3.5%

The big picture: The result showcased the continued resiliency of the labor market, and the strong numbers are sure to be seized on by President Trump as he plots his course to re-election following his acquittal in the Senate's impeachment trial.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

U.S. jobs growth may be going to another level

Photo: Jim Young/AFP via Getty Images

The job market looks to be picking up steam and shaking off any hints of the slowdown economists predicted would happen as employers got further away from the boost of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

What happened: ADP's private payrolls report showed the U.S. added 291,000 jobs in January, beating expectations by a wide margin for the second straight month. It was the report's best monthly gain since May 2015.