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BLS: Job Openings at Series High 11.5 million in March

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary
The number of job openings was at a series high of 11.5 million on the last business day of March, although little changed over the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires, at 6.7 million, were also little changed while total separations edged up to 6.3 million. Within separations, quits edged up to a series high of 4.5 million, while layoffs and discharges were little changed at 1.4 million.
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 March, the employment report this Friday will be for April.

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 are labeled, but off the chart to better show the usual data.

Jobs openings decreased slightly in March to 11.549 million from 11.344 million in February.


The number of job openings (yellow) were up 36% year-over-year. 

Quits were up 23% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (See light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).

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