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Economy in Brief

JOLTS: U.S. Job Openings Firm
by Tom Moeller May 11, 2005

The Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the job openings rate held firm at 2.6% versus an upwardly revised level in February. 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 total number of job openings was about stable m/m but up 14.9% y/y.

The March hires rate continued the trend of improvement and rose to 3.7%. The hires rate is the number of hires during the month divided by employment.

Job separations rose and reversed most of the decline during the prior two months. The separation rate rose to 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.

A description of the Jolts survey and the latest release from the U.S. Department of Labor is available here.

JOLTS (Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey) Mar Feb  Mar '04 2004 2003 2002
Job Openings Rate: Total 2.6% 2.6% 2.3% 2.4% 2.1% 2.2%
Hires Rate: Total 3.7% 3.6% 3.7% 3.4% 3.2% 3.2%
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