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Economy in Brief

JOLTS: U.S. Job Openings & Hires Dipped
by Tom Moeller September 8, 2005

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the job openings rate, from the Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), dipped in July to 2.6% from an upwardly revised June. 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. A 102,000 decline in the total number of job openings reversed about half of the prior month's rise but openings remained up 9.7% y/y.

The hires rate dipped slightly to 3.4% for the second consecutive monthly decline. The hires rate is the number of hires during the month divided by employment.

The job separations rate fell sharply to 3.1%, the lowest level since January 2004. 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) July June July '04 2004 2003 2002
Job Openings Rate: Total 2.6% 2.7% 2.4% 2.4% 2.1% 2.2%
Hires Rate: Total 3.4% 3.5% 3.3% 3.4% 3.2% 3.2%
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