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Economy in Brief

JOLTS: U.S. Job Openings Improved
by Tom Moeller August 11, 2005

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the job openings rate, from the Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), improved in June versus May to 2.6%, but 2.6% has been the average so far this year. 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, however, reversed most of the prior month's decline and rose 3.7% (12.8% y/y).

The hires rate dipped slightly to 3.5% from an upwardly revised 3.6% in May. The hires rate is the number of hires during the month divided by employment.

The job separations rate fell to 3.3% after having been elevated during the prior three months. 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) June May June '04 2004 2003 2002
Job Openings Rate: Total 2.6% 2.5% 2.3% 2.4% 2.1% 2.2%
Hires Rate: Total 3.5% 3.6% 3.4% 3.4% 3.2% 3.2%
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