OK, it Gets Sticky: Job Openings Plunge the Most Since the Great Recession | Wolf Street
The number of job openings in December dropped by 364,000 from November (seasonally adjusted), after having already plunged by 574,000 in November, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). This two-month plunge of 938,000 job openings came after a series of ups and downs with downward trend starting after the peak in January 2019. It brought the number of job openings in December to 6.42 million (seasonally adjusted), same level as in October 2017. Since the peak in January 2019, over 1.2 million job openings have dissolved into ambient air (November and December in red).
On a not-seasonally adjusted basis, job openings in December plunged by 14.9% from December 2018, the steepest since the Great Recession. In total, 1.05 million job openings have disappeared over the period. This was the seventh month in a row of year-over-year declines.
The lag between the first significant declines in job openings and an actual decline in employment, where jobs are being lost, seems to be about four to six months. If this data was skewed by a statistical fluke, the drop will self-correct over the next few months. But if what we’re seeing here are the actual trends in job openings, and they don’t bounce back in a serious manner, we can expect to see declining employment a few months from now.