The BLS December JOLTS report, or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows there are 3.4 official unemployed per job opening. Actual hires dropped 4.8% to 4.194 million. Real hiring has only increased 14% from June 2009. Job openings also declined by 4.6% to 3.617 million and are still, five years later, below pre-recession levels of 4.7 million. Job openings have increased 65% from July 2009.
There were 1.8 official unemployed persons per job opening at the start of the recession, December 2007. Below is the graph of the official unemployed per job opening. The official unemployed ranked 12.2 million in December 2012.
If one takes the official broader definition of unemployment, or U-6, the ratio becomes 6.3* unemployed people per each job opening. The December U-6 unemployment rate was 14.4%. Below is the graph of number of unemployed, using the broader U-6 unemployment definition, per job opening.
We have no idea the quality of these job openings as a whole, as reported by JOLTS, or the ratio of part-time openings to full-time. The rates below mean the number of openings, hires, fires percentage of the total employment. Openings are added to the total employment for it's ratio. Openings, hires and separations all dropped by 0.2 percentage points from November.
- openings rate: 2.6%
- hires rate: 3.1%
separations rate: 3.0%
- fires & layoffs rate: 1.2%
- quits rate: 1.6%
- other rate: 0.3%
Graphed below are raw job openings. Job openings are still below the 4.7 to 4.3 million levels of 2007.
Since the July 2009 trough, actual hires per month have only increased 14%. This is simply terrible and the most important indicator for employers are clearly refusing to increase hiring, across the board and thus not recover from our jobs crisis.
Below are total job separations, 4.069 million. The term separation means you're out of a job through a firing, layoff, quitting or retirement.
Layoffs and firings were 1.567 million for December, and for the private sector had no change. Below is a graph of just layoffs and firings.
Graphed below are openings separations and hires levels, so we can compare the types of labor flows. The flat line hires is the problem, beyond not enough job openings for the unemployed. There is simply not enough hiring going on to get people back to work.
Our monotone JOLTS report looks like employment musical chairs. We have an 1.8 million overall yearly net job gain and this is a 100,000 decline from what was reported last month..
Over the 12 months ending in December 2012, hires totaled 51.8 million and separations totaled 50.0 million,yielding a net employment gain of 1.8 million.
Graphed below are people who quit their jobs minus those who were fired and laid off. The lower the bar on the below graph, the worse labor conditions are. The number of quits were 2.157 million for December, not much of an improvement from July 2009's 1.8 million quits. People quit their current jobs often to obtain better ones. People feeling free enough to leave their current position also hasn't changed much for the year. Additionally quit statistics are still way below pre-recession levels of 2.8 million. People are clearly not voluntarily leaving their jobs because the job market is so bad, even though the jobs slaughter of 2009 where people were laid off and fired in mass is over.
For the JOLTS report, the BLS creates some fairly useful graphs beyond the above and they have oodles of additional information in their databases, broken down by occupational area. That said, one doesn't know if the openings are quality jobs from the JOLTS statistics. The St. Louis Federal Reserve also had loads of graphing tools for JOLTS.
The JOLTS takes a random sampling of 16,000 businesses and derives their numbers from that. The survey also uses the CES, or current employment statistics, not the household survey as their base benchmark, although ratios are coming from the household survey, which gives the tally of unemployed.
The December 2012 unemployment rate was 7.8%. JOLTS includes part-time jobs and does not make a distinction between part-time, full-time openings. A job opening reported to the survey could literally be take out the trash twice a week and be counted. This is a shame, it would be nice to know a little more about the quality of these new opportunities. Here are our past JOLTS overviews, unrevised.
* is defined as the official unemployed plus people who are in part-time jobs for economic reasons plus the marginally attached. The marginally attached,, are officially not part of the civilian labor force, , and also not seasonally adjusted. The above graph was created by the seasonally adjusted levels of the unemployed, part-time for economic reasons and the marginally attached, raw totals. Another way to calculate this figure is: where