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BLS: Job Openings Decreased to 9.9 million in February


From the BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary
The number of job openings decreased to 9.9 million on the last business day of February, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, the number of hires and total separations
changed little at 6.2 million and 5.8 million, respectively. Within separations, quits (4.0 million) edged
up, while layoffs and discharges (1.5 million) decreased.
emphasis added
The following graph shows job openings (black 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 spike in layoffs and discharges in March 2020 is labeled, but off the chart to better show the usual data.

Jobs openings decreased in February to 9.9 million from 10.6 million in January.

The number of job openings (black) were down 14% year-over-year. 

Quits were down 7% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (See light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).

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