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Economy in Brief

JOLTS: U.S. Job Openings & Hires Up
by Tom Moeller November 8, 2005

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the job openings rate, from the Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), rose in September to 2.7% from 2.5% in August. 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 190,000 increase (12.6% y/y) in the total number of job openings more than reversed the declines of the prior two months.

The hires rate remained steady at 3.4% for the second consecutive month and equaled the 2004 average. The hires rate is the number of hires during the month divided by employment.

The job separations rate also remained steady at 3.4% but this year's levels have been elevated versus the 3.2% 2004 average. 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.

The Economic Role of Cities in the 21st Century from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is available here.

JOLTS (Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey) Sept Aug Sept '04 2004 2003 2002
Job Openings Rate: Total 2.7% 2.5% 2.4% 2.4% 2.1% 2.2%
Hires Rate: Total 3.4% 3.4% 3.3% 3.4% 3.2% 3.2%
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