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BLS: Job Openings decreased slightly in April

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From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

There were 3.8 million job openings on the last business day of April, little changed from 3.9 million in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.3 percent) and separations rate (3.2 percent) also were little changed in April. …

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. … The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) was up over the 12 months ending in April for total nonfarm and total private but was little changed 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 April, the most recent employment report was for May.

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 decreased in April to 3.757 million, down from 3.875 million in March. The number of job openings (yellow) has generally been trending up, and openings are up 7% year-over-year compared to April 2012. 

Quits were up in April, and quits are up about 8% year-over-year. 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 – and the data is noisy month-to-month, but the general trend suggests a gradually improving labor market.
Calculated Risk

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