Jobs openings in the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) serves as a predictor of future jobs growth. In July 2011, the employment dynamics show no upward or downward pressures on employment.
The relevance of JOLTS to future employment is obvious from the graphic below which clearly shows JOLTS Job Openings trends leading or coincident to private non-farm employment trends.
So even though the JOLTS data is for August while the recent BLS jobs data is September – JOLTS job opening trends are a valid forward employment indicator. Graphing YoY change brings a more ominous view of employment going forward.
The JOLTS job opening data is trending down (less good) and is currently up a less good 7.8% year-over-year. This indicates, in the months to come, growth of non-farm jobs should continue to weaken. The separations rate remained unchanged in August – although the amount of hires increased. Remember, in August there was no jobs gain even though hires increased. Econintersect cannot correlate the hire rate to jobs growth.
JOLTS Job Openings is telling us there is no upward pressure on the labor market – and the trend lines are showing less good (decelerating) pressure is continuing.