Tuesday, April 11, 2017

BLS: Job Openings "little changed" in February

by Bill McBride on 4/11/2017 10:06:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.7 million on the last business day of February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were also little changed at 5.3 million and 5.1 million, respectively. ...

The number of quits was essentially unchanged at 3.1 million in February. The quits rate was 2.1 percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and 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 February, the most recent employment report was for March.

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 increased in February to 5.743 million from 5.625 million in January.  Job openings are mostly moving sideways at a high level.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 3% year-over-year.

Quits are up 3% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

This is another solid report.