Tuesday, December 09, 2014

BLS: Jobs Openings at 4.8 million in October, Up 21% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 12/09/2014 10:00:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 4.8 million job openings on the last business day of October, little changed from 4.7 million in September, 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 was unchanged at 2.7 million in October, maintaining the prior month’s increase.
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.


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 October to 4.834 million from 4.685 million in September.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 21% year-over-year compared to October 2013.

Quits are up 12% 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 ninth consecutive month (almost to 5 million), and that quits are increasing year-over-year.