Tuesday, December 08, 2015

BLS: Jobs Openings "little changed" in October

by Bill McBride on 12/08/2015 10:15:00 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 October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.1 million and 4.9 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was 1.9 percent for the seventh consecutive month, and the layoffs and discharges rate was 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 2.8 million quits in October, little changed from September. The number of quits has held between 2.7 million and 2.8 million for the past 14 months. The quits rate remained unchanged in October, measuring 1.9 percent for the seventh consecutive month
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 October, the most recent employment report was for November.

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 October to 5.383 million from 5.534 million in September.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 11% year-over-year compared to October 2014.

Quits are up slightly 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 close to the record high set in July, although Quits have leveled off.