Tuesday, April 05, 2016

BLS: Jobs Openings "little changed" in February

by Bill McBride on 4/05/2016 10:08:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.4 million on the last business day of February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires increased to 5.4 million while separations were little changed at 5.1 million. Within separations, the quits rate was 2.1 percent, and the layoffs and discharges rate was 1.2 percent. ...
The number of quits was little changed in February at 3.0 million. The quits rate was 2.1 percent.
emphasis added
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 series 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 February, the most recent employment report was for March.

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

Note that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. This is a measure of labor market turnover.  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 decreased in February to 5.445 million from 5.604 million in January.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 6% year-over-year compared to February 2015.

Quits are up 9% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

This is another solid report, and job openings are just below the record high set in July 2015.