Our stunningly steady jobs recovery, in one chart

By Ben Walsh
January 17, 2014

More people are quitting their jobs, and there are more open jobs than any time since 2008, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), showed that in November, the number of quits increased from 2.38 million to 2.4 million, and the number of job openings rose slightly from 3.9 million to 4 million.

Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride charts each data point JOLTs measures and concludes that while the changes from October to November were slight, “the general trend suggests a gradually improving labor market. It is a good sign that job openings are at the highest level since 2008.”

An increasing willingness of employees to quit their jobs is taken as a sign of strength in the labor market. As Paul Krugman put it, quits are a gauge of workers’ fear. 538′s Ben Casselman points out that while seasonally adjusted quits have been slow to increase for much of the recovery, they are now picking up pace. Not only do rising levels of quits tend to mean people think they’ll be able to find a new job, but that that new jobs will be better — in pay, benefits, or satisfaction — which is doubly good for the economy.

Overall, the data that should be trending up — job openings, hires, and quits — have been trending up, but at a slow rate. And none of these metrics are back to pre-recession highs.

Comments

You guys can post all the stories and BS you want, this country has NO REAL job growth. Sacking at a retail check out is not the same as a career in industry. The career jobs are gone and may never come back. This administration has and is doing everything in it’s power to destroy the US economy.

Posted by agular17 | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  • # Editors & Key Contributors