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JOLTs job openings increased to 11 million in October

Yahoo Finance Live hosts Julie Hyman and Brian Cheung review the latest numbers in the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

JULIE HYMAN: We have job openings just out-- data just out, 11 million job openings or JOLTS as they're known, job openings and labor turnover. This is a little bit of lagging data, it's for the month of October. And that headline number might look alarming but Brian Cheung's been looking through the numbers and the number of quits, the quit rate has gone down a little bit.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah. No, I love the JOLTS report, I feel like you have to say JOLTS every time you say it with like an exclamation. But the JOLTS report kind of shows you the turnover, the churn that's happening in the kind of labor market because the-- rather, the employment report that we get on a monthly basis is more of a snapshot. It tells you how many people are unemployed at that time but JOLTS tells you how many people are leaving and then entering, and then leaving, and then re-entering the workforce.

And as you mentioned, the job openings is very much a big part of that, right? Churn very much depends on whether or not there are available jobs for you to switch to. And job openings increasing a lot on a month over month basis between September and October to 11 million. Again, in October it was-- or rather in September it was something closer to 10.4 million.

But it's important to note that the 11 million figure is not a record for the amount of job openings. That actually was in July of this year at 11.1 million. So not that far off but again, very historically high levels of job openings here. But when you kind of unpack it, the turnover has not been as high in October as it was in September. You actually saw the quits rate decline to 2.8%, also down for the private sector--

JULIE HYMAN: Hey, Brian?

BRIAN CHEUNG: --to 3.1%.