Tuesday, April 06, 2021

BLS: Job Openings Increased to 7.4 Million in February

by Calculated Risk on 4/06/2021 10:06:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings edged up to 7.4 million on the last business day of February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires also edged up to 5.7 million while total separations were little changed at 5.5 million. Within separations, the quits rate and layoffs and discharges rate were unchanged at 2.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
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 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 February to 7.367 million from 7.099 million in January.  This is close to the series maximum of 7.574 million.

The number of job openings (yellow) were up 5.1% year-over-year.  Note that job openings were declining a year ago prior to the pandemic.

Quits were down 2.1% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for "quits").