Tuesday, June 05, 2018

BLS: Job Openings Increased in April to New Series High

by Bill McBride on 6/05/2018 10:07:00 AM

A milestone: In April there were 6.698 million job openings, and, according to the April Employment report, there were 6.346 million unemployed. So there are now more job openings than unemployed. Also note that the number of job openings has exceeded the number of hires since January 2015.

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 6.7 million on the last business day of April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.6 million and 5.4 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 1.2 percent. ...

The number of quits was little changed at 3.4 million in April. The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and increased for government (+17,000). Quits increased in state and local government education (+14,000) but decreased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-25,000).
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 April, the most recent employment report was for May.

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 April to 6.698 million from 6.633 million in March.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 9.7% year-over-year.

Quits are up 9.1% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

Job openings are at the highest level since this series started, and quits are increasing year-over-year. This was a strong report.