Thursday, October 07, 2010

Economic Jolt: Job Openings and Labor Turnover August 2010

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their latest monthly read of job availability and labor turnover (JOLT) showing that in August private non-farm job “openings” increased 0.99% since July rising 35.80% above the level seen in August 2009, job “hires” declined 3.26% since July rising 4.30% above the level seen in August 2009 while job “layoffs and discharges” plunged 13.74% since July and dropping 20.54% below the level seen last year.

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).