Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey JOLTS

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Definition of 'Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey JOLTS'

JOLTS is an acronym for the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The results of this survey are published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at 10am sometime from the 7th to the 13th of the month.

The data that is published references the month before the publish month:
For example, October's data is published at the beginning of December and April's data at the beginning of June.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines JOLTS as:
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The program involves the monthly collection, processing, and dissemination of job openings and labor turnover data. The data, collected from sampled establishments on a voluntary basis, include employment, job openings, hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations.

The number of unfilled jobs—used to calculate the job openings rate—is an important measure of the unmet demand for labor. With that statistic, it is possible to paint a more complete picture of the U.S. labor market than by looking solely at the unemployment rate, a measure of the excess supply of labor.

Information on labor turnover is valuable in the proper analysis and interpretation of labor market developments and as a complement to the unemployment rate.

The headline number from the report is the number of job openings.

The JOLTS report defines Job Openings as all positions that are open (not filled) on the last business day of the month. A job is open only if it meets all three of the following conditions:
  • A specific position exists and there is work available for that position. The position can be full-time or part-time, and it can be permanent, short-term, or seasonal.
  • The job could start within 30 days, whether or not the establishment finds a suitable candidate during that time.
  • There is active recruiting for workers from outside the establishment location that has the opening.

Here is the release calendar from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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