Job Openings and Labor Turnover: December 2008

Well the December numbers just came out from the BLS for new hires and turnover for December 2008. As expected the news is fairly dismal. While I understand no one wants to hear any bad news, especially those looking for work it is at least good to be aware of the overall situation. Something to always keep in mind when looking at these types of numbers and charts is that not every area in America feels the recession in the same way. One spot of good news though is that the blue line which represents new hires is heading in the right direction. Hopefully that will continue (but keep in mind that this is for December).

What we see is that on the last business day of December, there were 2.7 million job openings in the United States, and the job openings rate was 1.9 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The job openings rate in December was the lowest point so far in the 8-year-old series. The hires rate was essentially unchanged in December at 2.9 percent and remains low. The total separations rate jumped to 3.7 percent, due to rising layoffs and discharges.


The red line is seperations/discharges and the blue line is new hires. You can click on the picture to make it bigger.

2 responses to “Job Openings and Labor Turnover: December 2008

  1. Well as we know there are two sides to every coin. While layoffs are surpassing new hires, there are still new hires happening.

  2. Thank you for addressing that there are job openings. It seems that the entire focus of both news and private conversation these days is job LOSS. Not to sugarcoat the state of the job market, but layoffs are only part of the picture. There are, in fact, job openings happening every day. And let’s don’t forget that there are opportunities that go beyond jobs posted.

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