A strong jobs market*

Small business
Reza Estakhrian | Iconica | Getty Images

Call it a strong jobs report, but with an asterisk.

With much respect to the monthly payroll report, the JOLTS survey is a much better indicator of the health of the American job market. B ythis measure, we are healthy indeed. The monthly Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey says:

Job openings increased to a new series high in July, reaching 5.8 million. The prior series high was 5.4 million in May 2015. The series began in December 2000. The job openings rate forJuly rose to 3.9 percent after measuring 3.6 percent in the prior 3 months. The number of job openings rose in July for total private (sector), and was little changed for government. Several industries experienced a rise in openings in July: professional and business services, (+122,000), accommodation and food services, (+82,000), retail trade, (+77,000), and non-durable goods manufacturing, (+27,000). In the regions, the number of openings rose in the Northeast, (+154,000), and South, (+141,000).

Record job openings indicates American businesses want to grow. The 'asterisk' in this report is that actual hires edged down a bit. More openings yet fewer hires. A mismatch.

This is another indication that employers are either unable to find the workers they want, or there are skills and/or geographical mismatches between company and candidate.

As I've said before, relying on government-funded training won't cut it. Rather it is the companies themselves that need to be better about training the workers they want .. or helping good candidates get to where they need to be.

Train, don't complain.

Commentary by Brian Sullivan, co-host of CNBC's "Power Lunch." Follow him on Twitter @SullyCNBC.