Thursday, November 13, 2014

BLS: Jobs Openings at 4.7 million in September, Up 20% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 11/13/2014 10:08:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 4.7 million job openings on the last business day of September, little changed from 4.9 million in August, 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 increased from 2.5 million in August to 2.8 million in September. This was the highest level of quits since April 2008.
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 September, the most recent employment report was for October.

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


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 decreased in September to 4.735 million from 4.853 million in August.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 20% year-over-year compared to September 2013.

Quits are up 16% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

This is a very positive report.  It is a good sign that job openings are over 4 million for the eight consecutive month, and that quits are increasing year-over-year - and at the highest level since April 2008.