Tuesday, January 4, 2022

More Hires in November JOLTS Report

 Financial FAQs

Calculated Risk

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job openings decreased in November to 10.6 million from 11.1 million in October (yellow line in above graph).

It’s a sign that more workers are returning to work. So huge is the U.S. job market that hiring rose by 191,000 jobs to 6.7 million in November. The hiring rate rose to 4.5 percent from 4.4 percent in the prior month.

The BLS said:

“On the last business day of November, the number and rate of job openings decreased to 10.6 million (-529,000) and 6.6 percent, respectively. Job openings decreased in several industries with the largest decreases in accommodation and food services (-261,000); construction (-110,000); and nondurable goods manufacturing (-66,000). Job openings increased in finance and insurance (+83,000) and in federal government (+25,000). The number of job openings decreased in the South and Midwest.”

This suggests that hiring in both the service and manufacturing sectors is picking up, a good sign for continuing job growth in 2022.

The number of job openings (yellow) were up 56 percent year-over-year. Quits were up 37 percent, year-over-year. The JOLTS report showed that people quitting their jobs rose by 370,000 to 4.5 million in November.  The quits rate rose to 3 percent from 2.8 percent in October, matching the highest quits rate of the pandemic era.

The U.S. unemployment reports comes out this Friday and will give a better picture of the New Year, but the JOLTS report gives a preliminary indication, though it lags almost one month behind the unemployment report.

Another indicator of future job prospects is the decline in weekly initial jobless claims for unemployment as unemployment benefits expire.


Weekly claims are down from their high of 6 million during the pandemic to 198,000 in the latest week. Salaried employees can’t wait much longer to return in greater numbers in the New Year after spending the excess savings accumulated during the pandemic.

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has the last word this week in a recent NY Times column, in comparing the swiftness of this jobs recovery to President Reagan’s 1982 recovery which Reagan called “morning in America” that boosted his 1984 reelection.

“Yes, by this measure (and many others) we’re in the middle of another morning in America, despite the drag caused by a lingering pandemic and supply-chain disruptions,” said Professor Krugman.

With this kind of a jobs recovery, what should economic growth look like going forward?

The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2021 is 7.4 percent on January 4, down from 7.6 percent on December 23, says their press release.

So overall, 2021 real GDP growth could be upwards of 5 percent. The last time it reached this height was in the 1980s. And since this is the beginning of another year, we can call it the morning of a successful 2022 New Year.

Harlan Green © 2022

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarlanGreen

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