Weekly Economic Review: July Job Openings Hit Record High, Hiring Stagnant

Posted by Laine Smith on 9/9/16 1:15 PM

Topics: Economy

Last week, the August Employment Situation showed a significant slowdown of employment growth as nonfarm payrolls increased by a lower-than-expected 151,000 following July’s addition of 275,000.


Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Strength in July’s labor market resonated with July’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) which was released Wednesday. Job openings totaled 5.871 million in July, up from June’s upwardly revised 5.643 million. July’s openings are a record-high, but the hiring rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent, signaling employers’ difficulty in filling open jobs.

The Labor Market Conditions Index fell drastically into the negative column after climbing into positive status in July for the first time in 2016. The August index sat a minus 0.7 from July’s revised plus 1.3.

This week in the economy:

  • The purchase application index of MBA Mortgage Applications moved up 1 percent in the September 2 week while the refinance sector increased by 1 percent. Year-over-year purchase applications nudged up 2 percentage points to 7 percent but are still far from the double-digit growth seen in the first half of 2016.
  • Initial Jobless Claims held at historically low levels in the September 3 week. Initial claims fell 4,000 to 259,000, which pulled the 4-week average down by 1,750.
  • The Gallup US Consumer Spending Measure for August showed a $9 drop in Americans’ daily self-reports of average spending. July’s average was the highest in eight years at $100 per day, while August’s report is in line with the average of $89 from a year ago.

What’s on economic calendar for the week of September 12, 2016:

  • Wednesday – MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Thursday – Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, Retail Sales
  • Friday – Consumer Price Index, Consumer Sentiment

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