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BLS Reports Drop in Construction Job Openings in November

The number of construction job openings dropped 6,000 in November, and there were 11.5 available workers for each open construction job, the ""Bureau of Labor Statistics"":http://www.bls.gov/ reported Thursday in its monthly ""Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey"":http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/jolts_01102013.pdf report.


The ""JOLTS"" report tracks flows within the labor sector, noting hirings and separations by month as well as the number of job openings at the end of a month. It is reported by BLS on a one month lag. In addition to totals, data are reported on major industry sectors.

In November, according to Thursday's report, there were 3.28 unemployed individuals for every available job--virtually unchanged from October's 3.34. At the depths of the recession, the ratio peaked at 6.71 unemployed persons for every available job in July 2009--the month in which, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession ended.

In the construction sector, the number of job openings fell to 93,000 in November, while the number of unemployed construction workers went from 1,034,000 in October to 1,066,000 in November. The number of unemployed construction workers per job opening was 10.44 in October.

According to the overall JOLTS data, the total number of job openings edged up 11,000 in November to 3,676,000 as the number of those counted as unemployed--out-of-work, available-for-work, and looking-for-work--went to 12,042,000 from 12,248,000 in October.

The number of total job openings peaked at 5,191,000 when the JOLTS data series began in December 2000. It dropped to a low of 2,186,000 in July 2009.

According to the report, there were 4,319,000 total hires in November, 351,000 in the construction sector, up sharply from 318,000 in October. The number of total hires was essentially flat to October's 4,316,000.

Construction sector hires peaked at 531,000 in March 2001 and dipped as low as 262,000 in August 2009.

There were 4,136,000 total job separations--including quits, discharges, layoffs, and ""other""--in November, up from 4,087,000 in October. There were 358,000 total separations in the construction sector in November, up sharply from 290,000 in October.

The construction sector had the fewest number of job openings of any major industry sector. The trade-transportation-and-utilities sector had the greatest of openings--720,000--up from 610,000 in October.

_Hear Mark Lieberman on P.O.T.U.S. at Sirius 124 every Friday at 6:40 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. Eastern time._

About Author: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.

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