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Economy in Brief

JOLTS: Job Openings Eased in the US
by Tom Moeller March 15, 2005

The Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated the job openings rate eased in January to 2.4% versus 2.6% in December. 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 hires rate held in January at December's upwardly revised 3.5%. The hires rate is the number of hires during the month divided by employment.

The total number of job openings fell 5.8% (+15.4% y/y) after a 7.0% gain in December.

Job separations fell 1.7% m/m (+9.2% y/y). The separation rate held steady at 3.3%. Total separations include quits, layoffs, discharges, and other separations as well as retirements. The total separations, or turnover, rate is the total number of separations during the month divided by employment.

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

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) Jan Dec  Jan '04 2004 2003 2002
Job Openings Rate: Total 2.4% 2.6% 2.1% 2.4% 2.1% 2.2%
Hires Rate: Total 3.5% 3.5% 3.3% 3.4% 3.2% 3.2%
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