Tuesday, October 06, 2020

BLS: Job Openings Decreased to 6.5 Million in August

by Calculated Risk on 10/06/2020 10:08:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 6.5 million on the last business day of August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 5.9 million in August. Total separations decreased to 4.6 million. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.0 percent while the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to a series low of 1.0 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 August, the most recent employment report was for September.

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 usually 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.

The huge spikes in layoffs and discharges in March and April 2020 are labeled, but off the chart to better show the usual data.

Jobs openings decreased in August to 6.493 million from 6.697 million in July.

The number of job openings (yellow) were down 9.4% 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 decreased in August, and are down YoY - and quits are down sharply YoY.