The “Job Openings and Labour Market Survey” — or JOLTS report — isn’t as market-moving as the jobs report, but its data is just as important in characterising the labour market.
In fact, Fed Vice Chair and (fleetingly) possible Bernanke successor Janet Yellen loves the JOLTS report.
So here are the 4 charts we’ll be looking at today.
Job openings are generally on the rise, slowly but surely.
But hires have flatlined for over a year.
Layoffs are way down. This is actually a bigger problem than you might think. During the crisis, businesses cut labour costs to the bone. After a certain point, firms “hoarded” the labour they still had, hoping to maximise the productivity of the workers that outlasted the crisis. With hires yet to break through, it seems that we could still be in a “labour hoarding” cycle.
Quits have been stagnant lately, but are up on the whole. Quitting your job is a sign of confidence in the economy and labour market.