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Job openings and labor turnover up in July

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(Read caption) This chart shows the number of private nonfarm job openings between 2005 and 2011. Openings have been increasing slowly over the past two years, after hitting a low in 2009.

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Yesterday, 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 2.29% since June climbing 15.26% above the level seen in July 2010 while private non-farm job “hires” declined 2.03% from June remaining 1.92% above the level seen in July 2010.

Job “layoffs and discharges” declined 3.65% from June falling 6.82% below the level seen last year while quitting activity increased 2.02% from June and 8.91% above the level seen in July 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).