Note: The temporary decennial Census hiring and layoffs has distorted this series over the last few months.
From the BLS: Job Openings and labour Turnover Summary
The number of job openings in August was 3.2 million, which was little changed from July. Although the month-to-month change is small, the number of job openings has risen by 863,000 (37 per cent) since the most recent series trough of 2.3 million in July 2009.
Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. The CES (Current Employment Statistics, payroll survey) is for positions, the CPS (Current Population Survey, commonly called the household survey) is for people.
The following graph shows job openings (purple), hires (blue), Total separations (include layoffs, discharges and quits) (red) and Layoff, Discharges and other (yellow) from the JOLTS.
Unfortunately this is a new series and only started in December 2000.
Photo: Calculated Risk
Notice that hires (blue) and separations (red) are pretty close each month. In August, about 4.2 million people lost (or left) their jobs, and 4.14 million were hired (this is the labour turnover in the economy) for a loss of about 60,000 jobs in August (this includes Census jobs lost).
The employment report (revised) showed a loss of 54,000 jobs in August – usually these numbers are pretty close.
When the hires (blue line) is above total separations, the economy is adding net jobs, when the blue line is below total separations (as in August), the economy is losing net jobs.
Note: I think this graph makes a key point: The change in net jobs each month is small compared to the overall labour turnover. Over 4 million jobs were lost in August (seasonally adjusted) and over 4 million people were hired! And the net loss was 60,000 jobs (including temporary Census jobs).
It appears job openings are still trending up, however labour turnover is still very low.
This post originally appeared at Calculated Risk.