Tuesday, December 07, 2010

BLS: Job Openings increase sharply in October, Labor Turnover still Low

by Bill McBride on 12/07/2010 10:00:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings in October was 3.4 million, which was up
from 3.0 million in September. Since the most recent series trough in
July 2009, the number of job openings has risen by 1.0 million or 44
percent.

The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (purple), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.

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

Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. This report is for October, the most recent employment report was for November.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Click on graph for larger image in graphics gallery.

Notice that hires (purple) and total separations (red and blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. When the purple line is above the two stacked columns, the economy is adding net jobs - when it is below the columns, the economy is losing jobs.

Note: The temporary decennial Census hiring and layoffs distorted this series over the summer months.

In October, about 4.047 million people lost (or left) their jobs, and 4.196 million were hired (this is the labor turnover in the economy) adding 149 thousand total jobs.

The good news is job openings is increasing, however overall labor turnover is still low.

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