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May 2008, Vol. 131, No. 5
Job openings, hires, and turnover decrease in 2007
The U.S. labor market slowed considerably in the latter portion of 2007, as indicated by increasing unemployment1 and slowing job growth.2 Data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)3 also reflect a labor market slowdown in 2007, as job openings—a measure of labor demand—and hires and separations—measures of worker flows—decreased over the year.
After reaching a low point in September 2003, the job openings level displayed an overall upward trend through January 2007, when it reached a post-recession high of 4.3 million openings on the last business day of the month, the highest level since February 2001. After the January 2007 high point, the job openings level generally trended downward for 7 months, then fell in 3 of the last 4 months of the year. The end-of-year labor demand—as measured by the number of openings on the last business day of the year—was down as well, with 298,000 fewer openings in 2007 than in 2006.
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1 James Marschall Borbely, “Household survey indicators weaken in 2007,” Monthly Labor Review, March 2008, pp. 3–18; on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2008/03/art1full.pdf (visited May 15, 2008).
2 Robyn J. Richards, “Payroll employment in 2007: job growth slows,” Monthly Labor Review, March 2008, pp. 19–31; on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2008/03/art2full.pdf (visited May 15, 2008).
3 The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) provides measures of job openings, hires, and separations on a monthly basis, by industry and region, from December 2000 forward. JOLTS is a monthly survey of approximately 16,000 nonfarm business establishments and is benchmarked to the BLS Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey. Job openings are measured as the number of positions open at an establishment on the last business day of the reference month. Hires and separations are measured as the number of additions and subtractions from an establishment’s payroll for the entire month. Data by type of separation are also available and consist of quits (voluntary separations), layoffs and discharges (involuntary separations), and other separations (such as retirements, transfers, and death).
Related BLS programs
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)
Payroll employment and job openings continued to grow. — Mar. 2007.
Payroll employment in 2005: recovery and expansion. — Mar. 2006.
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