The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on September 6, 2023, showed that job openings remained high in August, with 11.2 million openings available at the end of the month. This was slightly down from the record 11.4 million openings in July, but still well above the pre-pandemic level of 7.7 million openings in February 2020.
The JOLTS report also showed that the quits rate held steady at 2.7% in August, which is still near a record high. This suggests that workers are confident in their ability to find new jobs if they quit their current ones. The layoffs and discharges rate fell to 1.4% in August, which is the lowest level since January 2001.
Overall, the JOLTS report suggests that the labor market remains strong, with plenty of job openings available and workers feeling confident about their job prospects.
Workforce development implications
The strong job openings data in the August JOLTS report has a number of implications for workforce development professionals. First, it suggests that there is a high demand for skilled workers in a variety of industries. This is an opportunity for workforce development professionals to focus their efforts on training and upskilling workers to meet the needs of employers.
Second, the high quits rate suggests that workers are willing to leave their jobs in search of better opportunities. This is a challenge for employers, but it also presents an opportunity for workforce development professionals to help workers develop the skills they need to advance their careers.
Finally, the low layoffs and discharges rate suggests that employers are reluctant to let go of workers. This is good news for workers, but it also means that there may be less turnover in the job market, which could make it more difficult for new entrants and job seekers to find work.
Workforce development professionals can play a vital role in helping workers and employers navigate the changing labor market. By focusing on training and upskilling workers, helping workers develop the skills they need to advance their careers, and connecting workers with employers, workforce development professionals can help ensure that the labor market remains strong and that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
Here are some specific things that workforce development professionals can do to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the August JOLTS report:
- Work with employers to identify their skills needs. Workforce development professionals can work with employers to identify the skills that they need in their workforce. This information can then be used to develop training programs that meet the needs of employers and help workers develop the skills they need to get hired.
- Offer training and upskilling programs. Workforce development professionals can offer training and upskilling programs to help workers develop the skills they need to succeed in the job market. These programs can focus on a variety of skills, such as technical skills, soft skills, and job search skills.
- Connect workers with employers. Workforce development professionals can connect workers with employers by hosting job fairs, organizing job training programs, and partnering with employers to recruit workers.
- Provide career counseling and support services. Workforce development professionals can provide career counseling and support services to help workers develop their career goals and find jobs that match their skills and interests.
By taking these steps, workforce development professionals can help ensure that the labor market remains strong and that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.