Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Economic Jolt: Job Openings and Labor Turnover May 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” declined 2.95% since April but still remained 18.92% above the level seen last year, job “hires” declined 3.99% since April remaining up just 2.38% above the level seen last year, while job “layoffs and discharges” increased despite a notable decline in quitting activity.

Job “openings” (click chart below for larger version), the reports most leading “demand side” indicator, appears to be in the process of defining a bottom of sorts 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).