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posted on 12 September 2017

July 2017 JOLTS Job Openings Unchanged?

Written by Steven Hansen

The BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) can be used as a predictor of future jobs growth, and the predictive elements show that the year-over-year growth rate of unadjusted private non-farm job openings declined. The headline view shows little change.

Analyst Opinion of JOLTS Data

JOLTS had been showing little year-over-year job openings growth - and this month is about average for the growth seen in the last 2 years.

Market expectations from Bloomberg / Econoday was 6.000 M to 6.100 M (consensus 6.010 M) versus actual of 6.2 million.

The graphs below uses year-over year growth comparisons of non-seasonally adjusted non-farm private BLS data versus JOLTS Job Openings - and then compare trend lines.

Last month's graph

This month's graph

The JOLTS Unadjusted Private hires rate (percent of hires compared to size of workforce) and the separations rate (percent of separations compared to size of workforce - separations are the workforce which quit or was laid off).

Unadjusted Hires (blue line) and Unadjusted Separation Levels (red line) - Non-Farm Private

Please note that Econintersect has not been able use the hire rate or the separation rate (or a combination thereof) to help in understanding future jobs growth. A Philly Fed study agrees with Econintersect's assessment. JOLTS is issued a month later than the jobs data - and correlates against one month old data.

For information, the Econintersect Employment Index and the Conference Board's Employment Index:

Caveats on the Use of JOLTS

This data series historically is very noisy which likely is a result of data gathering issues and/or seasonal adjustments. Therefore this series must be trended to provide any understanding of the dynamics. One of two months of good or bad data are not predictive.



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