Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Economic Jolt: Job Openings and Labor Turnover July 2010

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their latest monthly read of job availability and labor turnover (JOLT) showing that private non-farm job “openings” increased 7.33% since June and rose 33.09% above the level seen in July 2009, job “hires” increased 0.35% since July and rising 4.07% above the level seen last year, while job “layoffs and discharges” declined 15.83% over the same period.

Job “openings” (click chart below for larger version), the reports most leading “demand side” indicator, clearly appears to be in the process of defining a bottom vacillating monthly between gain and loss but trending above the low levels seen during early 2009.

It’s important to understand that job “quits” are included as a component of the “separations” data series as “quitting” is a valid means of workers “separating” from employers but their inclusion tends to create an overall procyclical trend in what would otherwise be logically thought of as a countercyclical process (i.e. downturn leads to increase in separations not decrease).