Tuesday, July 07, 2015

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

by Bill McBride on 7/07/2015 10:08:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.4 million on the last business day of May, the highest since the series began in December 2000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of hires was unchanged at 5.0 million in May and the number of separations was little changed at 4.7 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 May, unchanged from April.
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 May, the most recent employment report was for June.

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 May to 5.363 million from 5.334 million in April.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 16% year-over-year compared to May 2014.

Quits are up 8% 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 - and at an all time high - and that quits are increasing solidly year-over-year.