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Economy in Brief

JOLTS: U.S. Job Openings Firm Further
by Tom Moeller June 8, 2005

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the job openings rate, from the Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), firmed to nearly a four year high of 2.7%. 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 also rose 1.8% m/m (17.8% y/y) after an upwardly revised gain in March.

The hires rate backpedaled to 3.4% from a downwardly revised March level. The hires rate is the number of hires during the month divided by employment.

Job separations were stable, indicated by a separation rate of 3.4%. 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) April March April '04 2004 2003 2002
Job Openings Rate: Total 2.7% 2.6% 2.3% 2.4% 2.1% 2.2%
Hires Rate: Total 3.4% 3.6% 3.4% 3.4% 3.2% 3.2%
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