Job Openings Have Surged To Their Highest Level Since 2008

From the BLS: Job Openings and labour Turnover Summary

There were 3.1 million job openings on the last business day of February 2011, the U.S. Bureau of labour Statistics reported today. The job openings rate (2.3 per cent) increased over the month. The hires rate (3.0 per cent) and total separations rate (2.9 per cent) were little changed over the month.

The job openings level has trended up since the end of the recession in June 2009 (as designated by the National Bureau of Economic Research) but remains well below the 4.4 million openings when the recession began in December 2007.


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The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (purple), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.

Unfortunately this is a new series and only 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 February, the most recent employment report was for March.Notice that hires (purple) and total separations (red and blue columns stacked) are pretty close each month. When the purple line is above the two stacked columns, the economy is adding net jobs – when it is below the columns, the economy is losing jobs.

In general job openings (yellow) has been trending up – and are up 23% from February 2010.

The overall turnover remains low.