JOLTS in October 2011 Continues to Point to Continuing Jobs Growth

Jobs openings in the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) serves as a predictor of future jobs growth. In October 2011, the JOLTS trends continue to show some upward 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 October while the recent BLS jobs data is November – JOLTS job opening trends are a valid forward employment indicator. JOLTS data is saying the current growth trend of private sector employment should continue in the coming months.

Looking at rate of change – JOLTS Job Openings is remaining is a channel between 10% and 20% year-over-year growth – and has no obvious trend up or down.  This indicates the rate of job growth we are seeing today should continue into the months to come.

Both the separations rate and the hire rate declined in October. The separation rate is the percent of workforce which quit or was laid off.  Likewise, the hire rate  is the percent of the workforce hired. Remember these are seasonally adjusted numbers – and both the separations rate and the hire rate ratios remained approximately unchanged (suggesting little overall effect from these declines).

Please note that Econintersect has not been able to correlate the hire rate or the separation rate to jobs growth. However, increasing JOLTS Job Openings data is telling us there is some upward pressure on the labor market.

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