03.25.2013 Policy Points

Job Openings In January 2013

From the Economic Policy Institute’s analysis of the January 2013 version of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) …

The January Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows job openings increased in January to nearly 3.7 million, a rise of 81,000 since December. The number of job openings, which had been improving generally since reaching its low of 2.2 million in July 2009, is still below its recent peak of 3.8 million in March 2012.

Hires also rose slightly in January, increasing by 52,000 to over 4.2 million. Like job openings, hires are still below their early 2012 levels. On the flip side, layoffs decreased by 62,000 in January to 1.5 million. While layoffs are not currently the primary concern in the labor market (having been at prerecession levels for more than two years), that there are fewer layoffs is definitely good news. However, because job openings and hiring remain so depressed, the consequences to workers of being laid off are far worse now than before the recession began; they are less likely to find a new job within a reasonable timeframe, particularly one that pays as much as the job lost.

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