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Private sector job openings drop

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(Read caption) This chart shows the annual and monthly change in private nonfarm job openings since 2004, a measure of labor turnover. Since bottoming out in 2009, rates have been recovering slowly but have yet to reach pre-recession levels.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics has  released their latest monthly read of job availability and labor turnover (JOLT) showing that private non-farm job “openings” declined 3.20% since September climbing 13.55% above the level seen in October 2010 while private non-farm job “hires” declined 2.65% from September and rose 5.64% above the level seen in October 2010.

Job “layoffs and discharges” declined 6.92% from September falling 2.61% below the level seen last year while quitting activity declined 3.56% from September remaining 9.85% above the level seen in October 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).