Every month the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data on hiring, firing, and other labor market flows from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, better known as JOLTS. Today, the BLS released the latest data for December 2016. This report doesn’t get as much attention as the monthly Employment Situation Report, but it contains useful information about the state of the U.S. labor market. Below are a few key graphs using data from the report.
The quits rate dropped in December in 2 percent. The quits rate is at pre-recession levels, though other data show quitting and job-switching was more common during the late 1990s.
The decline in the unemployment-to-job-opening ratio has slowed in recent months. If this is due to an increasing labor force, then the slowdown might have a silver lining.
The vacancy yield was essentially unchanged in December, but the overall trend is downward as the labor market tightens. If job openings continue their strong growth, then the decline in the yield of few hires per job openings could continue for quite some time.