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BLS: Job Openings Decreased to 11.3 million in May

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by Calculated Risk on 7/06/2022 10:04:00 AM

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

The number of job openings decreased to 11.3 million on the last business day of May, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and total separations were little changed at 6.5 million and 6.0
million, respectively. Within separations, quits (4.3 million) and layoffs and discharges (1.4 million)
were little changed.
emphasis added

The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (dark blue), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.

This series started in December 2000.

Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. This report is for May, the employment report this Friday will be for June.

Click on graph for larger image.

Note that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light blue columns stacked) are usually pretty close each month. This is a measure of labor market turnover. When the blue line is above the two stacked columns, the economy is adding net jobs – when it is below the columns, the economy is losing jobs.

The spike in layoffs and discharges in March 2020 is labeled, but off the chart to better show the usual data.

Jobs openings decreased in May to 11.254 million from 11.681 million in April.

The number of job openings (black) were up 17% year-over-year.

Quits were up 11% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (See light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).

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