General Business

New Job Openings Slow in August

U.S. employers continued to increase their hiring, but new job openings slowed in August. Before seasonal adjustments, new hires increased 13.0% and new job openings increased 8.8%, according to iCIMS’ Monthly Hiring Indicator (MHI). This is the smallest rise in openings before seasonal adjustments that iCIMS has seen during the month of August over the last four years.

The MHI is a leading economic indicator published by iCIMS, drawing upon its database of more than 75 million applications and 4 million jobs each year. New hires translate directly into payroll growth, after netting out departures, layoffs and other separations.

“The sky isn’t falling yet,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS. “While this month shows that employers are still actively filling open rolls, the slowing in new openings could be one of the first cracks in the armor for the labor market – and the all-important U.S. consumer.”

August 2019 U.S. New Hires and Openings Highlights:

  • Hiring activity before seasonal adjustments saw an uptick across all sectors that iCIMS tracks, with notable increases in retail (18.4%) and manufacturing (13.1%) – in contrast to the weakness indicated by the August ISM manufacturing report.
  • Job openings before seasonal adjustments still saw a modest increase in most industries that iCIMS tracks, but not in financial activities and retail trade.
  • The Northeast showed weaker-than-normal hiring activity (5.2%), which is in line with previous months and suggests that the region’s job market may be less dynamic than the Midwest (16.6%), the West (15.0%) and the South (13.3%), before seasonal adjustments.

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