Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Economic Jolt: Job Openings and Labor Turnover September 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 5.74% since August but remained 11.19% above the level seen in September 2009 while job “hires” increased 1.34% since August rising 2.87% above the level seen in September 2009 and job “layoffs and discharges” dropped 2.09% since August and dropping 24.23% 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).