I have read that Fed Chair Janet Yellen is particularly interested in JOLTS. Representing Job Openings and Labor market Turnover Survey, JOLTS data tell an interesting story.
You can see how the trend in job openings parallels the Great Recession almost exactly:
So too does hiring:
And the layoff and discharge numbers:
But I wonder if the “quit” numbers particularly provide insight. Think for a moment about jobs that people dislike. In healthy economic conditions, we are more willing to leave a distasteful job because an alternative is probably available. However, during a contraction and especially the Great Recession, our optimism evaporates. If you were working, you stayed there.
If the quit rate trend is up, is that good economic news?
Sources and Resources: H/T to marketplace.org for an interesting JOLTS report. For the numbers, the St. Louis Fed’s graph are a wonderful resources here, here, here and here.