Tuesday, May 12, 2015

BLS: Jobs Openings at 5.0 million in March, Up 19% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 5/12/2015 10:09:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 5.0 million job openings on the last business day of March, little changed from 5.1 million in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 5.1 million in March and separations were little changed at 5.0 million....
...
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 2.8 million quits in March, little changed from February.
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 March, the most recent employment report was for April.

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 March to 4.994 million from 5.144 million in February.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 19% year-over-year compared to March 2014.

Quits are up 14% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

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