Thursday, November 12, 2015

BLS: Jobs Openings increased to 5.5 million in September

by Bill McBride on 11/12/2015 10:08:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.5 million on the last business day of September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.0 million and 4.8 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was 1.9 percent for the sixth consecutive month, and the layoffs and discharges rate remained 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 September, little changed from August. The number of quits has held between 2.7 million and 2.8 million for the past 13 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 September, the most recent employment report was for October.

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 September to 5.526 million from 5.377 million in August.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 18% year-over-year compared to September 2014.

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

This is a solid report.  Job openings are just below the record high set in July, although Quits have leveled off.