Friday, May 15, 2020

BLS: Job Openings decreased to 6.2 Million in March

by Calculated Risk on 5/15/2020 10:08:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of total separations increased by 8.9 million to a series high of 14.5 million in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Within separations, the quits rate fell to 1.8 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 7.5 percent. Job openings decreased to 6.2 million on the last business day of March. Over the month, hires declined to 5.2 million. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. ...

In March, the number and rate of quits decreased to 2.8 million (-654,000) and 1.8 percent, respectively. Total private quits fell to 2.6 million (-640,000), while government edged down to 177,000 (-14,000).
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 decreased in March to 6.191 million from 7.004 million in February.

The number of job openings (yellow) were down 16% year-over-year.

Quits were down 21% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

Job openings declined sharply, and will decline further in the April report.