Tuesday, June 09, 2015

BLS: Jobs Openings increased to 5.4 million in April, Highest on Record

by Bill McBride on 6/09/2015 10:07:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings rose to 5.4 million on the last business day of April, the highest since the series began in December 2000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of hires was little changed at 5.0 million in April and the number of separations was little changed at 4.9 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 2.7 million quits in April, little changed from March.
emphasis added
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 April, the most recent employment report was for May.

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 April to 5.376 million from 5.109 million in March.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 22% year-over-year compared to April 2014.

Quits are up 11% 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 over 5 million - at an all time high, and that quits are increasing solidly year-over-year.