The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that net hiring in the manufacturing sector turned negative again in October, ending four straight monthly gains. According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), total hiring declined from 279,000 in September to 271,000 in October. Hiring was lower for both durable (down from 163,000 to 156,000) and nondurable (down from 116,000 to 115,000) firms for the month. At the same time, total separations – which include quits, layoffs and retirements – were also reduced in October, down from 278,000 to 273,000. Overall, net hiring (or hiring minus separations) decreased from 1,000 in September to -2,000 in October, the first net decline since May.
Meanwhile, manufacturing job openings also pulled back in October, even as they remain relatively elevated in general. Job openings in the sector edged down from 328,000 to 322,000 in this report, with postings shifting lower since achieving an all-time high of 397,000 observed in April. Through the first ten months of 2016, job openings have averaged 346,000 per month, up from 311,000 for 2015 as a whole. As such, we have continued to see relatively healthy gains in manufacturing job openings, despite some easing in over the past few months. This gives us optimism for faster hiring growth moving forward. In the October data, nondurable goods firms had more openings, up from 122,000 to 132,000, but there were fewer postings among durable goods manufacturers, down from 206,000 to 190,000. Read More