Tuesday, February 07, 2012

BLS: Job Openings increased in December

by Bill McBride on 2/07/2012 10:12:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 3.4 million job openings on the last business day of December, up from 3.1 million in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
...
Although the number of job openings remained below the 4.4 million openings when the recession began in December 2007, the number of job openings has increased 39 percent since the end of the recession in June 2009.
The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (dark blue), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.

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 December, the most recent employment report was for January.

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

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

Jobs openings increased in December, and the number of job openings (yellow) has generally been trending up, and are up about 15% year-over-year compared to December 2010.

Quits declined slightly in December, but have mostly been trending up - quits are now up about 5% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations and more quits might indicate some improvement in the labor market. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").
All current employment graphs

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