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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

BLS: Job Openings increased in March

by Calculated Risk on 5/08/2012 10:37:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 3.7 million job openings on the last business day of March, little changed from February but up significantly from a year earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The number of total nonfarm job openings has increased by 1.3 million since the end of the recession in June 2009.
The quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to change jobs. In March, the quits rate was unchanged for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of quits was 2.1 million in March 2012, up from 1.8 million at 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 March, the most recent employment report was for April.

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 increased in March to 3.737 million, up from 3.565 million in February. The number of job openings (yellow) has generally been trending up, and openings are up about 17% year-over-year compared to March 2011. This is the highest level for job openings since July 2008.

Quits increased in March, and quits are now up about 8.5% year-over-year and quits are now at the highest level since 2008. 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