U.S. Job Openings Drop to 1-1/2-Year Low; Hiring Falls

FILE PHOTO: Recruiters and job seekers are seen at a job fair in Golden, Colorado, June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

U.S. job openings fell to a 1-1/2-year low in August and hiring slipped, suggesting employment growth was slowing mostly because of ebbing demand for labor.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, dropped by 123,000 to a seasonally adjusted 7.05 million in August, the lowest level since March 2018, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, on Wednesday.

It was the third straight monthly drop in job openings, which have been trending lower this year since scaling an all-time high of 7.6 million in late 2018. The job openings rate fell to 4.4% in August from 4.5% in July.

Hiring decreased by 199,000 jobs to 5.8 million in August, led by declines in the private sector. The hiring rate slipped to 3.8% from 3.9% in July.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 136,000 jobs in September, down from 168,000 in August, the government reported last Friday. The three-month average gain in private employment fell to 119,000, the smallest since July 2012, from 135,000 in August.

Job growth has averaged 161,000 per month this year, compared to a monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018. Job gains remain above the roughly 100,000 per month needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population. The unemployment rate fell to near a 50-year low of 3.5% in September from 3.7% in August.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)


  1. Michael!

    As usual, a very well thought out and fact filled rebuttal!!! Living up to your nickname of “.Driveby!
    Come back when you find a clue!

  2. The Generally Confused One and Driveby Michael conveniently forget that the Democrats under mining the President in foreign negotiations weakens the US position in these talks. But Dems gotta do what they do and damn the best interest of the country!! Gotta hate on Trump more!!!

  3. “Democrats hurting America again.” Charles

    You seem confused about who it is that is waging this trade war. Would you like some help?

  4. At my company, the last round of layoffs were a direct result of the loss of business from some Chinese companies. I can’t say that those losses weren’t necessary, but they hurt. For those of us that are left, tariffs are making our products more expensive to make and sell, and it reflects in our worker’s compensation.

    In my line of work, uncertainty in trade policies has a much greater impact than impeachment. Impeachment might actually help, if it helps to stabilize trade. We would rather be hiring people instead of letting them go.

  5. I’m confused by their uses of rises and falls, but I do remember that for decades 4% unemployment was classically considered full employment during peace time. So, if we are below 4.00% unemployment, are we really above full employment at least in classical terms?

  6. Michael, Charles seems unaware of anything. Tsk, Tsk….

  7. Charles seems unaware of the trade wars tariff guy has been engaging in.

  8. More the result of the DEMOCRAT INQUISITION and House blockage of the new trade deal. Businesses are waiting to see how things will go. Democrats hurting America again.

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