The job openings rate saw a nudge lower in November, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
This rate declined from 1.5 per available worker in October to 1.4 in November. This marks a fresh 14-month low for the job openings rate, with the last low being recorded in September 2018 when the rate was at 1.3.
The number of job openings stood at 6.9 million at the end of November, slightly lower from October’s reading of 6.914 million. While the highest rate of job openings was recorded during September this year, at 7.405 million. This could be attributed to a higher level of hiring and after a few months of increasing labor supply, it appears employers are now beginning to feel the pinch.
Furthermore, September 2018 saw employers advertise the most jobs in the last decade, at 7.895 million. With the current rate being lower than what it was before it is indicative of employers taking their foot off the gas, now that the economy is slowing down again.
The total number of hires dropped from 5.954 million in October to 5.819 million in November, the second lowest on record since October 2017 when hiring was at 5.785 million.
At the same time, the September number of hires also saw a downtick, from 6.127 million in September to 5.910 million in October. This could mean employers are having difficulty finding and retaining the right employees for job openings.
What all this indicates is that the labor market is weakening and fewer opportunities are becoming available. With the economy cooling off, the trend of slowing hiring activity is expected to continue in the coming weeks.
Overall, both the job openings rate and hiring rate have experienced a downtrend, causing analysts to worry about the future trajectory of job growth.