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Economy in Brief

JOLTS: Job Hires and Separations Down
by Tom Moeller August 9, 2006

The job openings rate in June as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) was about unchanged at 2.9%. The rate for the previous month was revised down to 2.8% from 2.9% . 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 actual number of job openings increased 1.5% to 4.004 million from a downwardly revised 3.945 million in May.

The hires rate fell to 3.5% from 3.7% in May. The hires rate is the number of hires during the month divided by employment. The actual number of hires fell 4.0% (-1.0% y/y) to 4.758 million from May's 4.949 million.

The job separations rate fell to 3.4% from 3.6% in May. 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 level of job separations dropped 5.43% (-0.87% y/y) to 4.550 million.

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 '05 2005 2004 2003
Job Openings Rate: Total 2.9% 2.8% 2.6% 2.7% 2.4% 2.1%
Hires Rate: Total 3.5% 3.7% 3.6% 3.6% 3.5% 3.2%
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