Breaking Stories

BLS: Job Openings "Little Changed" at 10.4 Million in September

by Calculated Risk on 11/12/2021 10:06:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 10.4 million on the last business day of September, the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and total separations were little changed at 6.5
million and 6.2 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits level and rate increased to a series
high of 4.4 million and 3.0 percent, respectively. The layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 0.9
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 September, the most recent employment report was for October.

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 spike in layoffs and discharges in March 2020 are labeled, but off the chart to better show the usual data.

Jobs openings decreased in September to 10.438 million from 10.629 million in August.

The number of job openings (yellow) were up 58% year-over-year.

Quits were up 34% year-over-year to a new record high. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).

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