Tuesday, December 11, 2012

BLS: Job Openings "little changed" in October

by Bill McBride on 12/11/2012 10:00:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings in October was 3.7 million, essentially unchanged from September.
The level of total nonfarm job openings in October was up from 2.4 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.
In October, the quits rate was unchanged for total nonfarm and total private, and little changed for government. The number of quits was 2.1 million in October compared to 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 October, the most recent employment report was for November.

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. This is a measure of turnover.  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 October to 3.675 million, up from 3.547 million in September. The number of job openings (yellow) has generally been trending up, and openings are up about 8% year-over-year compared to October 2011.

Quits increased in October, and quits are up 4% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

The trend suggests a gradually improving labor market.

All current employment graphs