Job Openings & Labor Turnover: Clues to the Business Cycle
The latest JOLTS report (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary), with data through May, is now available. From the press release:
Errors in JOLTS federal government estimates
BLS identified errors in the JOLTS federal government hires, total separations, and layoffs and discharges estimates from January 2011 forward. These data have been suppressed from the BLS database and this news release.
The first chart below shows four of the headline components of the overall series, which the BLS began tracking in December 2000. The time frame is quite limited compared to the main BLS data series in the monthly employment report, many of which go back to 1948, and the enormously popular Nonfarm Employment (PAYEMS) series goes back to 1939. Nevertheless, there are some clear JOLTS correlations with the most recent business cycle trends.
The chart below shows the monthly data points four of the JOLTS series. They are quite volatile, hence the inclusion of six-month moving averages to help identify the trends. For the last two and a half years, the moving average for openings has been above the hires levels as seen in the chart below.