Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BLS: Job Openings "little changed" in August

by Calculated Risk on 10/12/2011 10:00:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings in August was 3.1 million, little changed from July. Although the number of job openings remained below the 4.4 million openings when the recession began in December 2007, the level in August was 944,000 higher than in July 2009 (the most recent trough). The number of job openings is up 26 percent since the end of the recession in June 2009.
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 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 August, the most recent employment report was for September.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

Notice that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. 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.

In general job openings (yellow) has been trending up, and are up about 7% year-over-year compared to August 2010. Layoffs and discharges are down about 10% year-over-year.

Quits increased in August, and have been trending up - and quits are now up about 10% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations and more quits might indicate some improvement in the labor market. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").