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Economic Data (USA)

Friday, May 15, 2020

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for March 2020

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS*) for March 2020 was released by the Labor Department this morning:


Job Openings

Predicted: 5,900,000
Actual:    6,191,000

  • Previous Month (revised): 7,004,000

  • One Year Previous: 7,364,000


Hires: 5,206,000

Total Separations: 14,517,000


The above, yellow-highlighted percentage represents the estimated number of job openings in the United States during the indicated month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.


From Today's Release:

"...The number of total separations increased by 8.9 million to a series high of 14.5 million in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Within separations, the quits rate fell to 1.8 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 7.5 percent. Job openings decreased to 6.2 million on the last business day of March. Over the month, hires declined to 5.2 million. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, and by four geographic regions..."


Chart: Job Openings, Hires and Separations - March 2020 Update
Chart: Job Openings, Hires and Separations
March 2020 Update


Here's How The Labor Department Defines Total Separations:

"Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm."



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