The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that net hiring in the manufacturing sector was flat in November, continuing a trend of weak net job growth year-to-date. According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), total hiring edged up from 274,000 in October to 275,000 in November, with marginal increases for both durable (up from 159,000 to 160,000) and nondurable (up from 114,000 to 115,000) goods firms. At the same time, total separations – which include quits, layoffs and retirements – rose from 269,000 to 275,000 for the month. Overall, net hiring (or hiring minus separations) decreased from 5,000 in October to zero in November.
Meanwhile, manufacturing job openings were little changed, up from 320,000 in October to 324,000 in November. Postings in the sector have trended lower since achieving an all-time high of 397,000 in April; yet, they remain elevated, especially relative to hiring levels. Through the first 11 months of 2016, job openings have averaged 343,000 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 over the past few months. This gives us optimism for faster hiring growth moving forward. In the November data, nondurable goods firms had more openings, up from 123,000 to 139,000, but there were fewer postings among durable goods manufacturers, down from 197,000 to 185,000. Read More