Tuesday, July 08, 2014

BLS: Jobs Openings increase to 4.6 million in May

by Bill McBride on 7/08/2014 10:11:00 AM

Note: I have limited internet access until later today.

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 4.6 million job openings on the last business day of May, little changed from 4.5 million in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. ...
Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. ... The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in May for total nonfarm and total private and was little changed for government.
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.

Note: graph is from last month (power outage - limited internet access and cannot upload graphs)

Note that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. This is a measure of labor market 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 May to 4.635 million from 4.464 million in April.   

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 19% year-over-year compared to May 2013.

Quits are up 15%year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

It is a good sign that job openings are over 4 million for the fourth consecutive month, and that quits are increasing.