Economic Snapshot: Job openings remain at historical high

After strong reports of unemployment declines and job gains last week, the record level of job openings remained steady this month.


The number of job openings was little changed at 5.4 million on the last business day of May, which was the highest since the series began in December 2000. The job openings rate for May 2015 was 3.6 percent.

The number of job openings increased over the 12 months ending in May for total nonfarm, total private and government.

The number of hires was 5.0 million in May, unchanged from April, and the hires rate was 3.5 percent. Over the 12 months ending in May, the number of hires was little changed for total nonfarm, total private and government.

There were 4.7 million total separations in May, relatively unchanged from April, and the separations rate was 3.3 percent. Among separations, there were 2.7 million quits in May, also unchanged from April and at a rate of 1.9 percent. The number of quits increased over the 12 months ending in May for total nonfarm and total private, but was little changed for government. 

ISM non-manufacturing

The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index registered 56.0 percent in June, 0.3 percentage points higher than the May reading of 55.7 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slightly faster rate.

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in June for the 65th consecutive month.

The Business Activity Index increased 2.0 percentage points to 61.5 percent, reflecting growth for the 71st consecutive month at a faster rate, and the New Orders Index increased 0.4 percentage points to 58.3 percent.

The Employment Index decreased 2.6 percentage points to 52.7 in June but still indicates growth for the 16th consecutive month. The Prices Index decreased 2.9 percentage points to 53.0 percent, which indicates that prices increased in June for the fourth consecutive month.

Fifteen of the 18 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in June, with Arts, Entertainment & Recreation leading the way. The three industries reporting contraction in June are: Mining; Other Services; and Construction.

ISM manufacturing

The ISM Manufacturing Index increased 0.7 percentage points to 53.5 percent in June. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June for the 30th consecutive month and the overall economy grew for the 73rd consecutive month.

The New Orders Index increased 0.2 percentage points to 56.0 percent in June and the Production Index decreased 0.5 percentage points to 54.0 percent. The Employment Index climbed 3.8 percentage points to 55.5 percent, which reflects growing employment levels from May at a faster rate.

Inventories of raw materials rose 1.5 percentage points to 53.0 percent and the Prices Index remained steady at 49.5 percent, which indicates lower raw materials prices for the eighth consecutive month.

Eleven of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in June and four industries reported contraction. The four industries reporting contraction in June are: Petroleum & Coal Products; Primary Metals; Plastics & Rubber Products; and Machinery.

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