In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BLS: Job Openings unchanged in January

by Calculated Risk on 3/13/2012 10:00:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings in January was 3.5 million, unchanged from December. Although the number of job openings remained below the 4.3 million openings when the recession began in December 2007, the number of job openings has increased 45 percent since the end of the recession in June 2009.
In January, the hires rate was essentially unchanged at 3.1 percent for total nonfarm. ... The quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to change jobs. In January, the quits rate was unchanged for total nonfarm, total private, and government. ... The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) in January 2012 increased from January 2011 for total nonfarm, total private, and government.
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 January, the most recent employment report was for February.

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

Notice that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light 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.

Jobs openings were unchanged in January, and the number of job openings (yellow) has generally been trending up, and are up about 21% year-over-year compared to January 2011.

Quits declined slightly in January, and quits are now up about 9% 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").
All current employment graphs