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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

BLS: Job Openings decline in April

by Calculated Risk on 6/07/2011 10:00:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings in April was 3.0 million, little changed from 3.1 million in March. After increasing in February, job openings have been flat. Job openings have been around 3.0 million for three consecutive months; the last three-month period with levels this high was September—November 2008. The number of job openings was 549,000 higher than at the end of the recession in June 2009 (as designated by the National Bureau of Economic Research) but remains well below the 4.4 million openings when the recession began in December 2007.
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 April, the most recent (and dismal) employment report was for May.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Click on graph for larger image in graph 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 general job openings (yellow) has been trending up - however job openings declined slightly in April - and are actually down year-over-year compared to April 2010. However April 2010 included decennial Census hiring, so that isn't a good comparison.

Overall turnover remains low.

Note: I've had some questions about "quits", and quits have been trending up (although they were down slightly in April). For this graph I add quits to other discharges to compare to total hires, but I'll look at just tracking quits too.