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 February 2018. 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 continues to hold steady at 2.2 percent. The rate has been 2.2 percent on average for the past 3 months as well as the past year.
The ratio of unemployed workers to vacant jobs is no longer at an all-time low as it ticked up slightly, but the three-month average is still at 1.1. Consider that number to the ratio’s peak of 6.5 unemployed workers per job vacancy.
Job vacancies have produced fewer and fewer hires for employers during the current economic recovery, but the pace of the decline seems to have slowed recently and may even have stalled. The three-month average is 0.93, while the 12 month-average is currently 0.92.
Despite concerns about a structural increase in unemployment during the recovery from the Great Recession, the Beveridge Curve shows a current relationship between unemployment and job openings that’s very similar to the one before the recession.