Tuesday, April 07, 2015

BLS: Jobs Openings at 5.1 million in February, Up 23% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 4/07/2015 10:07:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 5.1 million job openings on the last business day of February, little changed from 5.0 million in January, 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. ... There were 2.7 million quits in February, about the same as in January.
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 February, the most recent employment report was for March.

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 February to 5.133 million from 4.965 million in January. This is the highest level for job openings since January 2001.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 23% year-over-year compared to February 2014.

Quits are up 10% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

This is another very positive report.  It is a good sign that job openings are over 5 million, and that quits are increasing solidly year-over-year.