The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is out with its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for the month of June. This JOLTS report compares hirings, firings and employees quitting their jobs and reports the number of job openings each month. It is never a true market-moving report, but it signals the underlying strength and weakness in the jobs market.
The job openings report was at its highest reading back in 2001. It then reached a pre-recession peak in June 2007, but according to the recent report, there were some 4.671 million job openings on the last day of June — the highest reading in over a decade. The hires rate was 3.5%, and the separations rate was 3.3%. Within the separations, the quits rate was 1.8%, and the layoffs and discharges rate was 1.2%.
Without looking at seasonal adjustments, it turns out that the job openings level increased for more than half of the industries but decreased for retail trade. Still, the number of job openings increased in all four regions of America.
From January 2014 through June 2014, the number of job openings was up by an average of 159,000 job openings per month, creating a total increase of 797,000 openings.
There were 4.8 million hires in June versus 4.5 million total separations in June.
Here is what stands out. The total quits rate from the private sector was 2.1% versus only a 1.3% layoffs and discharges rate.
It may seem odd, but many quits are good for the job market and imply a stronger economy. The issue is that this generally implies that workers are leaving to pursue more lucrative positions or to pursue other interests, theoretically creating a job opening when they quit. This means there is a stronger jobs market where workers have upward mobility and opportunity as well.
24/7 Wall St. has included a link to the full report and a table showing how high the current openings are compared to the last 14 years.
FULL JOLTS REPORT
Filed under: Jobs