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BLS: Job Openings “little changed” at 11.3 million in February

From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary
The number of job openings was little changed at 11.3 million on the last business day of February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires edged up to 6.7 million while total separations were little changed at 6.1 million. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.9 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 0.9 percent.
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 February, the employment report this Friday will be for March.

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 huge 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 February to 11.266 million from 11.283 million in January.


The number of job openings (yellow) were up 43% year-over-year. 

Quits were up 27% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (See light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).

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