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Economy in Brief

JOLTS: Job Openings & Hires Up in the US
by Tom Moeller December 8, 2004

The Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that through October, the job openings rate rose to 2.5% in October versus a monthly low of 2.0% in August 2003. The job openings rate is the number of job openings on the last business day of the month as a percent of total employment plus job openings.

The number of job openings in October rose to 3.330 million, up 18.0% y/y.

The latest hires rate rose to 3.3% versus a low of 3.0% during the spring of 2003. The hires rate is the number of hires during the month divided by employment.

The survey dates only to December 2000 but has since followed the movement in nonfarm payrolls.

Job separations rose to 4.159 million (+7.8% y/y) and the separation rate was unchanged at 3.2%, up from 3.0% last October. Total separations include quits, layoffs, discharges, and other separations including retirements. The total separations, or turnover, rate is the total number of separations during the month divided by employment.

From the U.S. Department of Labor, a description of the Jolts survey and the latest release is available here.

JOLTS (Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey) Oct Sept Oct '03 2003 2002 2001
Job Openings Rate: Total 2.5% 2.4% 2.1% 2.1% 2.2% 2.8%
Hires Rate: Total 3.3% 3.2% 3.2% 3.1% 3.2% 3.5%
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