September job openings, wholesale sales & inventories

the only agency reports released this week were the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for September from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the September report on Wholesale Trade, Sales and Inventories from the Census Bureau, and the Consumer Credit Report for September from the Fed…the later showed that overall consumer credit, a measure of non-real estate debt, expanded by a seasonally adjusted $20.8 billion, or at a 6.6% annual rate, as non-revolving credit expanded at a 6.3% rate to $2,782.3 billion and revolving credit outstanding rose at a 7.7% rate to $1,005.6 billion…this week also saw the release of the Mortgage Monitor for September (pdf) from Black Knight Financial Services, which indicated that 4.40% of all mortgages were delinquent in September, up from 3.93% in August and up from 4.27% in September of 2016, and that 0.70% of all mortgages were in the foreclosure process, down from from 0.76% in August and down from 1.00% a year ago….mortgage delinquencies have been elevated in regions of the country where properties have experienced hurricane damage…

Job Openings Little Changed in September; Hiring Down, Job Quitting Up

the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report for September from the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that seasonally adjusted job openings increased by 3,000, from 6,090,000 in August to 6,093,000 in September, after August job openings were revised 8,000 higher, from 6,082,000 to 6,090,000…September’s jobs openings were still 7.5% higher than the 5,666,000 job openings reported in September a year ago, as the job opening ratio expressed as a percentage of the employed was unchanged at 4.0% in September, while it was up from 3.8% a year ago…there were wide differences in job openings between industries, from the 156,000 job opening increase to 1,055,000 openings in the broad professional and business services sector, to the 111,000 job opening decrease to 757,000 openings in the leisure and hospitality sector (see table 1 for more details)…like most BLS releases, the press release for this report is easy to understand and also refers us to the associated table for the data cited, which are linked at the end of the release…

the JOLTS release also reports on labor turnover, which consists of hires and job separations, which in turn is further divided into layoffs and discharges, those who quit, and ‘other separations’, which includes retirements and deaths….in September, seasonally adjusted new hires totaled 5,273,000, down by 147,000 from the revised 5,420,000 who were hired or rehired in August, as the hiring rate as a percentage of all employed fell to 3.6% from 3.7% in August, while it was unchanged from September a year earlier (details of hiring by sector since March are in table 2)….meanwhile, total separations fell by 33,000, from 5,273,000 in August to 5,240,000 in September, while the separations rate as a percentage of the employed remained unchanged at 3.6%, the same as in September a year ago (see table 3)…subtracting the 5,240,000 total separations from the total hires of 5,273,000 would imply an increase of 33,000 jobs in September, a bit more than the revised payroll job increase of 18,000 for September reported in the October establishment survey last week, but well within the expected +/-115,000 margin of error in these incomplete samplings

breaking down the seasonally adjusted job separations, the BLS finds that 3,192,000 of us voluntarily quit our jobs in September, up from the revised 3,093,000 who quit their jobs in August, while the quits rate, widely watched as an indicator of worker confidence, rose from 2.1% to 2.2% of total employment, which was also up from 2.1% a year earlier (see details in table 4)….in addition to those who quit, another 1,703,000 were either laid off, fired or otherwise discharged in September, down by 78,000 from the revised 1,781,000 who were discharged in August, as the discharges rate remained at 1.2% of all those who were employed during the month, which was still up from the discharges rate of 1.0% a year earlier….meanwhile, other separations, which includes retirements and deaths, were at 355,000 in September, down from 398,000 in August, for an ‘other separations rate’ of 0.2%, which was down from 0.3% in August, but the same as the ‘other separations rate’ of 0.2% in September of last year….both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted details by industry and by region on hires and job separations, and on job quits and discharges can be accessed using the links to tables at the bottom of the press release

September Wholesale Sales Up 1.5%, Wholesale Inventories Up 0.3%

the September report on Wholesale Trade, Sales and Inventories (pdf) from the Census Bureau estimated that the seasonally adjusted value of wholesale sales was at $480.5 billion, up 1.3 percent (±0.4 percent) from the revised August level, and up 8.5 percent (±1.2 percent) from the wholesale sales of September 2016… the August preliminary estimate was revised up to $474.5 billion from the $473.4 billion in wholesale sales reported last month, which revised the July to August change to +1.9%…. September wholesale sales of durable goods were up 0.7 percent from August and were up 9.8 percent from a year earlier, with a 3.4% increase in wholesale sales of metals and minerals leading the durables increase for the month, while wholesale sales of nondurable goods were up 1.8 percent from August and were up 7.4 percent from last September, with a 12.6% increase in wholesale sales of petroleum and petroleum products offsetting decreases in wholesales sales of most other non-durables…as an intermediate activity, wholesale sales are not included in GDP except insofar as they are a trade service, since the traded goods themselves do not represent an increase in the output of the goods produced or finally sold….

on the other hand, the monthly change in private inventories is a major factor in GDP, as additional goods left in a warehouse represent goods that were produced but not sold, and this September report estimated that wholesale inventories were valued at a seasonally adjusted $609.5 billion at month end, up 0.3 percent (±0.4 percent)* from the revised August level and 8.5 percent (±1.2 percent) higher than in September a year ago….August’s inventory value was revised from $608.1 billion to $607.47 billion, which meant that the July to August percent change was revised from the advance estimate of +0.9 percent to +0.8 percent…wholesale inventories of durable goods were up 0.3 percent from August, and were up 5.7 percent from a year ago, with 0.7% higher wholesale inventories of  electrical and electronic goods leading the September durables increase…at the same time, the value of wholesale inventories of nondurable goods were up 0.4 percent from August and were up 3.0 percent from last September, as the value of wholesale inventories of petroleum and petroleum products was up 3.0%, largely on higher prices, as the Energy department has been reporting falling inventories all summer…


(the above is the synopsis that accompanied my regular sunday morning links emailing, which in turn was mostly selected from my weekly blog post on the global glass onion…if you’d be interested in receiving my weekly emailing of selected links, most from the aforementioned GGO posts, contact me…)  


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