Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BLS: Job Openings declined in April

by Bill McBride on 6/19/2012 10:00:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 3.4 million job openings on the last business day of April, down from 3.7 million in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
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Although the number of total nonfarm job openings declined in April, the number of openings was 1.0 million higher than at the end of the recession in June 2009.
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The quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to change jobs. In April, the quits rate was unchanged for total nonfarm, and essentially unchanged for total private and government. The number of quits was 2.1 million in April 2012, up from 1.8 million at 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 April, the most recent employment report was for May.

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 declined in April to 3.416 million, down from 3.741 million in March. However the number of job openings (yellow) has generally been trending up, and openings are up about 13% year-over-year compared to April 2011.

Quits declined slightly in April, and quits are now up about 10% 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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