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Job openings and hires increase in March

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(Read caption) This chart shows the number of nonfarm job openings from 2004 through March 2011. The number of job openings has been inching upward since January 2010, and they are now at about the same level as they were in December 2008

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Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their latest monthly read of job availability and labor turnover (JOLT) showing that private non-farm job “openings” increased 2.78% since February climbing 23.22% above the level seen in March 2010 while private non-farm job “hires” increased 1.39% from February and 0.48% above the level seen in March 2010.

Job “layoffs and discharges” declined 0.13% from February while dropping 9.46% below the level seen last year while quitting activity continues to climb increasing 2.01% from February and 8.67% above the level seen in March 2010.

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It’s important to understand that job “quits” are included as a component of the “separations” data series as “quitting” is a valid means of workers “separating” from employers but their inclusion tends to create an overall procyclical trend in what would otherwise be logically thought of as a countercyclical process (i.e. downturn leads to increase in separations not decrease).

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