Wednesday, December 09, 2020

BLS: Job Openings "Little Changed" at 6.7 Million in October

by Calculated Risk on 12/09/2020 10:05:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 6.7 million on the last business day of October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 5.8 million while total separations increased to 5.1 million. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.2 percent while the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 1.2 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 October, the most recent employment report was for November.

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 increased in October to 6.652 million from 6.494 million in September.

The number of job openings (yellow) were down 9.0% year-over-year.

Quits were down 10% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").

Job openings were little changed in September, and are down YoY - and quits are down sharply YoY.