What is the JOLTS Report? The JOLTS report is the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The report includes statistics for; job openings, hires, separations, net change in employment, and annual statistics. All of these sections show the health of the labor market.
What is the JOLTS Report: Job Openings
Job openings are the total number of jobs that are available to be filled by prospective employees. Lately there have been about 7.6 million open jobs. This is also the headline number that most take into account. The market reacts to this number based on the expectations. If the expectations are higher than the report the market can drop and the opposite is also true. A strong number also indicates pressure to raise wages.
The number of people that were hired during the month. These include the number of people hired to fill a new position and replace people that quit or were laid off. The number is no net of those who quit or were laid off. It is the total number of Hires.
What is the JOLTS Report: Separations
Separations are those who left a job for whatever reason. If they quit, were laid off, or fired they are included in separations. An increase of separations may indicate a slowing economy. There are 3 parts of the separations section; quits, layoffs, and other separations.
The quits portions of the separations section is people that quit their job. A high quits rate implies a strong economy. People feel comfortable quitting their job and starting a business or they will be able to get another job. When a person quits their job it shows confidence in their economic future.
Layoffs are the number of people that are laid off for business reasons. Layoffs can be caused by mergers and acquisitions or business slowdowns. These two factors should be taken into account before determining the effect on the economy.
Other separations include every other way a person leaves their job. They may be fired or leave by mutual agreement.
Net Change in Employment
The net change in employment is the difference between the hires and separations. Any positive number show some level of strength in the economy. This means that there are more people getting jobs than losing them.