Tuesday, May 07, 2019

BLS: Job Openings Increased to 7.5 Million in March

by Calculated Risk on 5/07/2019 10:08:00 AM

Notes: In March there were 7.488 million job openings, and, according to the March Employment report, there were 6.211 million unemployed. So, for the thirteen consecutive month, there were more job openings than people unemployed. Also note that the number of job openings has exceeded the number of hires since January 2015 (over 4 years).

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings rose to 7.5 million on the last business day of March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.7 million and 5.4 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.1 percent. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by four geographic regions. ...

The number of quits was little changed in March at 3.4 million. The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The quits level was little changed for total private and for government.
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 March, the most recent employment report was for April.

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 increased in March to 7.488 million from 7.142 million in February.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 9% year-over-year.

Quits are up 3% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

Job openings remain at a high level, and quits are still increasing year-over-year. This was still a solid report.