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Friday, March 11, 2011

BLS: Job Openings decline in January, Low Labor Turnover

by Calculated Risk on 3/11/2011 11:41:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 2.8 million job openings on the last business day of
January 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The
job openings rate (2.1 percent), hires rate (2.8 percent), and total
separations rate (2.7 percent) were little changed over the month.
The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (purple), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.

Unfortunately this is a new series and only 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 in graphics gallery.

Notice that hires (purple) and total separations (red and blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. When the purple line is above the two stacked columns, the economy is adding net jobs - when it is below the columns, the economy is losing jobs.

In January, about 3.555 million people lost (or left) their jobs, and 3.712 million were hired (this is the labor turnover in the economy) adding 157 thousand total jobs.

In general job openings (yellow) has been trending up - and are up 15% from January 2010 - although openings have declined over the last two months.

The overall turnover remains low with a record low number of "quits" in January. There has been little pickup in hiring over the last 18 months - just a decline in "quits" and total separations.