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BLS: Job Openings "Little Changed" at 9.2 Million in May

by Calculated Risk on 7/07/2021 10:06:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings was little changed at 9.2 million on the last business day of May, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 5.9 million. Total separations
decreased to 5.3 million. Within separations, the quits rate decreased to 2.5 percent. The layoffs and
discharges rate, while little changed over the month, hit a series low of 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 May, the most recent employment report was for June.

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 May to 9.209 million from 9.193 million in April. This is a new record high for this series.

The number of job openings (yellow) were up 69% year-over-year.

Quits were up 63% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).

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