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 March 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 rose a bit to 2.3 percent in March. That’s a good thing, but it’s too early to tell if this is the beginning of an increase from recent stagnation or just a blip.
The ratio of unemployed workers to vacant jobs hit an all-time low of 1 in March. This means there are equal amounts of open jobs and unemployed workers. Keep an eye out to see this ratio potentially drop below 1 in the coming months.
Job vacancies have produced fewer and fewer hires for employers during this recovery, with a particularly pronounced drop in March to 0.83, a record low for this series.
With a large increase in the vacancy rate in March, the U.S. labor market is on the upper-left portion of the Beveridge Curve. If it stays around that point, it may suggest a structurally higher level of job vacancies.