Friday, October 16, 2015

BLS: Jobs Openings decreased to 5.4 million in August

by Bill McBride on 10/16/2015 10:09:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings decreased to 5.4 million on the last business day of August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of hires and separations was little changed at 5.1 million and 4.8 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was 1.9 percent for the fifth month in a row, and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.2 percent. ...
...
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 August, little changed from July. The number of quits has held between 2.7 million and 2.8 million for the past 12 months after increasing steadily since the end of the recession.
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 August, the most recent employment report was for September.

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 August to 5.370 million from 5.668 million in July.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 9% year-over-year compared to August 2014.

Quits are up 9% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

This is a decent report.  Even though Job Openings decreased, this was from the record high in July - and Openings are still up 9% year-over-year.