Tuesday, July 12, 2011

BLS: Job Openings unchanged in May

by Bill McBride on 7/12/2011 10:25:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings in May was 3.0 million, unchanged from April. The number of job openings in May was 862,000 higher than in July 2009 (the series trough) but remains well below the 4.4 million openings when the recession began in December 2007.
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 May, the most recent (and even more dismal) employment report was for June.

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

In general job openings (yellow) has been trending up - and job openings increased slightly again in May - and are up about 7% year-over-year compared to May 2010.

Overall turnover is increasing too, but remains low. Quits increased again and have been trending up - and quits are now up about 10% year-over-year (usually a sign of more confidence in the labor market).