Related BLS programs | Related articles
February 2008, Vol. 131, No. 2
Studying the labor market using BLS labor dynamics data
Zhi Boon, Charles M. Carson, R. Jason Faberman, and Randy E. Ilg
Over the past 5 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released three new data products that measure the dynamics of the U.S. labor market. These data illustrate the fluid nature of the labor market by highlighting the millions of jobs that appear or disappear and the millions of individuals who become employed, become unemployed, or leave the labor force entirely every month.
In 2002, the BLS began releasing data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). This survey of establishments has collected data since December 2000 on the number of hires, quits, layoffs, and job openings businesses have each month. In 2003, the BLS began releasing the Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data. The BED counts are based on 6.9 million mandatory reports submitted by businesses subject to State Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs; these records are longitudinally linked over time so that one can observe employment changes at the establishment level. The BED measures the gross number of jobs gained each quarter at expanding or opening establishments, as well as the gross number of jobs lost each quarter at contracting or closing establishments. The BED data are available back to 1992. Finally, beginning in October 2007, the BLS has released seasonally adjusted monthly estimates of labor force status flows (also known as "gross flows") from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a survey best known as the source of the monthly unemployment rate. The estimates of labor force status flows, which begin in 1990, use month-to-month changes in the employment status of individuals to estimate the population-level changes in labor force status between being employed, unemployed, or out of the labor force.
This excerpt is from an article published in the February 2008 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full article in PDF (341K)
Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
Related Monthly Labor Review articles
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers