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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
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JOLTS Experimental State Estimates

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) estimates are based on a national sample of approximately 16,000 establishments. These data are used by policymakers, academics, industry experts, economists, and others to better understand the current state of the U.S. economy and to understand the dynamic activity of businesses in the economy that lead to aggregate employment changes. While the current national sample size is designed to support estimates for major industries at the national level and total nonfarm estimates at the regional level, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is currently researching the possibility of leveraging the sample to produce model-assisted estimates at the state total nonfarm level. These estimates are currently identified as experimental as updates to the models are incorporated into this new data series. We encourage data users to review these estimates and provide input on both the technical aspects of the models and on the usability of the resulting data.

These experimental state estimates are published as a historical series comprised of an annually revised benchmarked historical component (Composite Synthetic model) and a current component (Extended Composite Synthetic model) which provides monthly "real-time" estimates between lagged benchmarks.

  1. Composite Synthetic model: this model is used to refine the state estimates as part of annual processing, and provides annually benchmarked estimates for the entire history of the series through the previous year benchmark—by incorporating data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) that were not available when the initial estimates were produced.
  2. Extended Composite Synthetic model: this model is used to produce the current or most recent month-year of estimates by extending the Composite Synthetic model estimates for the most recent publication year.

JOLTS Experimental State Estimates Table A contains both models as a 3-month moving average. The estimates are presented as a combination of Composite Synthetic (CompSyn) and Extended Composite Synthetic (ECompSyn) estimates. More specifically, table A includes estimates from the CompSyn model from February 2001 to December 2018 and uses the ECompSyn model to extend the CompSyn model from January 2019 to September 2019. Please note the CompSyn modeled data will be updated with a full year of data annually going forward following the release of 12 months of ECompSyn estimates.

BLS plans to update these data on a quarterly basis while assessing data user input on the models and on the utility of these data. We encourage data users to provide input on these data at joltsinfo@bls.gov.

Models

Both models take the following form:

J=w1(D)+w2(M)

Where

  • J is a JOLTS data element: job openings; hires; total separations; quits; layoffs and discharges
  • w1 is a weight between 0 and 1 and w2=1−w1
  • D is a data-based estimate, as long as there are 5 or more sample units
  • M is a modeled estimate, either using a regional approach or a synthetic approach (both are described below)
  • Notes:
    • Estimates of J are developed at the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) supersector level.
    • Once the NAICS supersector estimates are developed for the region, using either model, the sum of the estimated state levels for the region are ratio adjusted to the regional level of the JOLTS data element.
    • Within each state, the ratio adjusted values of J are then aggregated across NAICS supersectors to the total nonfarm level.

Composite Synthetic Model

J=w1(D)+w2(MS)

Where

  • MS=a synthetic model that distributes hires to all businesses that increase employment, and separations to all businesses that lose employment, such that the hires and separations equal regional totals. All other JOLTS data elements are then modeled relative to these data elements:
    • Synthetic job openings are a function of the ratio of industry-regional job openings and hires. This ratio of published job openings to hires is applied to model hires estimates to derive model job opening estimates. Ratio-adjusting the JOLTS model hires and separations to the regional published JOLTS hires and separations estimates ensures that the JOLTS published churn rate is fully accounted for.
    • Synthetic quits and layoffs and discharges are a function of the relative percentage of the individual components of total separations at the industry-regional level. The relative percentages of each component is applied to the model separations estimates to derive model quits and layoffs and discharges.

Extended Composite Synthetic Model

Extended Composite Synthetic Model formula

Where

  • extended composite synthetic state industry estimate for month t is the Extended Composite Synthetic state industry estimate for month t
  • composite synthetic state industry estimate for month t-12 is the Composite Synthetic state industry estimate for month t-12 (one year ago)
  • composite regional state industry estimate for month t is the Composite Regional state industry estimate for month t
  • composite regional state industry estimate for month t-12 is the Composite Regional state industry estimate for month t-12 (one year ago)

The Composite Synthetic state industry estimate from one year ago is extended by adjusting that estimate by the ratio of the current Composite Regional model estimate to the Composite Regional model estimate from one year ago. The Extended Composite Synthetic state industry estimates are summed across industry to form an Extended Composite Synthetic state estimate.

This approach ensures that the extended composite synthetic state estimates reflect current JOLTS regional and industry level economic conditions.

A more complete description of both models can be found on the JOLTS Experimental State Estimates Methodology page. Some common questions and answers can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Archived releases:


Last Modified Date: January 10, 2020