Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BLS: Job Openings increased in May

by Bill McBride on 7/10/2012 10:00:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 3.6 million job openings on the last business day of May, little changed from 3.4 million in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
...
The level of total nonfarm job openings in May was up from 2.4 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.
...
In May, the quits rate displayed little or no change for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of quits was 2.1 million in May, 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 series 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 employment report was for June.

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. According to JOLTS, the economy gained a few jobs in May (update: initial post had incorrect number for total separations).

Jobs openings increased in May to 3.642 million, up from 3.447 million in April. The number of job openings (yellow) has generally been trending up, and openings are up about 18% year-over-year compared to May 2011.

Quits increased slightly in May, and quits are now up about 6% 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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