Tuesday, July 11, 2017

BLS: Job Openings Decreased in May

by Bill McBride on 7/11/2017 10:08:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings decreased to 5.7 million on the last business day of May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires increased to 5.5 million and separations increased to 5.3 million. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.2 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.1 percent. ...

The number of quits increased to 3.2 million (+177,000) in May. The quits rate was 2.2 percent. The number of quits rose for total private (+159,000) and for government (+19,000).
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 May, the most recent employment report was for June.

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 May to 5.666  million from 5.967 in April.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 2% year-over-year.

Quits are up 7% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

Job openings are mostly moving sideways at a high level, and quits are increasing.  This is another solid report.