Why So Many Unfilled Job Openings?

MBA Mortgage Applications (week ended 12/2/2016)

– Purchase Index Week/Week +0.4%
– Previous weeks were -0.2%, +19.0%, -6.0%, +1.0%, -0.4%, -7.0%, +3.0%, -3.0%, -0.1%, +1.0%, -7.0%, +9.0%, and +1.0%

– Refinance Index Week/Week -1.0%.
– Previous weeks were -16.0%, -3.0%, -11.0%, -3.0%, -2.0%, -2.0%, -1.0%, -8.0%, +5.0%, -2.0%, -8.0%, +2.0%, and +1.0%

– Composite Index Week/Week -0.7%.
-Previous weeks were -9.4%, +5.5%, -9.2%, -1.2%, -1.2%, -4.1%, -0.6%, -6.0%, +2.9%, -0.7%. -7.3%, and +4.2%

Refinance applications have been severely impacted by higher rates.

 
JOLTS (October 2016)

– Job Openings 5,534,000. Previous was 5,631,000

The is the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. One thing this report has indicated for the past several years is that there are a lot of unfilled job openings. It may be the case that unemployed people do not have the skills for the openings. This is important because this indicates that the labor market has flaws which are not cyclical but structural. Also, if low paying retail jobs could be opening up and the wages offered may not be attractive enough to induce people to seek work.