BLS: Job Openings "little changed" in January

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 3.7 million job openings on the last business day of January, little changed from December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.1 percent) and separations rate (3.0 percent) also were little changed in January. …

Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. … In January, the quits rate was unchanged at 1.6 percent. The quits rate edged up for total private in January but was unchanged for government.

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 January, the most recent employment report was for February.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Click on graph for larger image.

Notice that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. This is a measure of 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 January to 3.693 million, up from 3.612 million in December. The number of job openings (yellow) has generally been trending up, and openings are up 8% year-over-year compared to January 2012.

Quits increased in January, and quits are up 13% year-over-year and at the highest level since 2008. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).

Not much changes month-to-month in this report, but the trend suggests a gradually improving labor market.

Posted in Executive Prospectus, Financial Prospectus

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