Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BLS: Low Labor Turnover in June

by Bill McBride on 8/11/2010 10:26:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings in June was 2.9 million, which was little changed from May. Although the month-to-month change is small, the number of job openings has risen by 599,000 (26 percent) since the most recent series trough of 2.3 million in July 2009. Even with the gains since July 2009, the number of job openings remained well below the 4.4 million open jobs when the recession began in December 2007...
Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. The CES (Current Employment Statistics, payroll survey) is for positions, the CPS (Current Population Survey, commonly called the household survey) is for people.

The following graph shows job openings (purple), hires (blue), Total separations (include layoffs, discharges and quits) (red) and Layoff, Discharges and other (yellow) from the JOLTS.

Unfortunately this is a new series and only started in December 2000.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Click on graph for larger image in new window.

Notice that hires (blue) and separations (red) are pretty close each month. In June, about 4.35 million people lost (or left) their jobs, and 4.25 million were hired (this is the labor turnover in the economy) for a loss of 97,000 jobs in June (this includes Census jobs lost).

When the hires (blue line) is above total separations, the economy is adding net jobs, when the blue line is below total separations (as in June), the economy is losing net jobs.

Note: The temporary Census hiring has distorted this series over the last few months.

The separations in June included the 225 thousand temporary Census 2010 jobs lost. Layoffs and discharges increased in June, but that is probably because of the temporary Census jobs. The number of job openings also decreased slightly in June, after increasing earlier this year.

The overall turnover, especially after removing the impact of the Census hiring, is still low.