Thursday, March 16, 2017

BLS: Job Openings "little changed" in January

by Bill McBride on 3/16/2017 10:10:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.6 million on the last business day of January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were also little changed at 5.4 million and 5.3 million, respectively. ...
...
The number of quits edged up to 3.2 million in January. The quits rate was 2.2 percent. Over the month, the number of quits edged up for total private (+129,000) and was little changed for government.
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 January, the most recent employment report was for February.

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 were mostly unchanged in January at 5.626 million compared to 5.539 million in December.  Job openings are mostly moving sideways at a high level.

The number of job openings (yellow) are down slightly year-over-year.

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.