Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Exploring labor market trends through JOLTS firm-size data

By Charlotte Oslund

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) program provides data about job openings, hires, and separations in the United States. Studying these numbers yields insights into where the business cycle and labor market might be headed. This article identifies key trends at the total private-sector level and then uses new experimental estimates grouped by firm size to examine the trends more closely and gain additional insights.

Trends at the total private level

Chart 1 provides JOLTS data along with employment figures from the Current Employment Statistics program. Many interesting trends are apparent at the total private level. For example, we can see that going into the Great Recession of 2007–09, job openings, hires, and quits began to decline well before the start of the recession.

We also see that for most of the months since December 2000, when JOLTS began publishing, hires have outnumbered job openings. However, the series converged in mid-2014, and by January 2016, job openings surpassed hires. Since JOLTS measures hires throughout the entire reference month but counts job openings only on the last business day of the month, it is noteworthy when job openings outnumber hires.

In addition, it appears that firms held off on increasing layoffs until well into the recession, and quickly reduced layoffs as soon as possible: Layoffs and discharges did not start to rise in earnest until nearly a year into the recession, then peaked before the end of the recession, and returned to pre-recession levels within a few months after the end of the recession.

Another trend that is apparent at the total private level is that quits (voluntary separations) outnumber layoffs and discharges (involuntary separations) for most of the JOLTS series. Only during the Great Recession and for several months in its aftermath did layoffs and discharges outnumber quits.

View Chart Data

Chart 1. Job openings, hires, quits and employment, total private December 2000–December 2016
Month Job openings Hires Quits Layoffs and discharges Employment

Dec 2000

4,264 5,149 2,867 1,803 111,923

Jan 2001

4,887 5,419 3,250 2,105 111,867

Feb 2001

4,232 5,144 3,067 1,757 111,870

Mar 2001

4,084 5,292 2,972 2,052 111,803

Apr 2001

4,448 5,009 3,070 1,835 111,477

May 2001

4,043 5,039 2,914 1,920 111,399

Jun 2001

3,755 4,701 2,874 1,804 111,170

Jul 2001

4,009 4,818 2,810 1,872 111,014

Aug 2001

3,666 4,693 2,706 1,757 110,835

Sep 2001

3,593 4,658 2,601 1,977 110,561

Oct 2001

3,164 4,685 2,723 2,138 110,200

Nov 2001

2,960 4,567 2,450 2,054 109,852

Dec 2001

3,000 4,435 2,375 1,795 109,646

Jan 2002

3,381 4,539 2,737 1,792 109,475

Feb 2002

2,926 4,587 2,467 1,889 109,334

Mar 2002

3,112 4,329 2,351 1,672 109,276

Apr 2002

3,067 4,612 2,553 1,805 109,181

May 2002

3,123 4,611 2,569 1,855 109,127

Jun 2002

2,959 4,508 2,463 1,738 109,143

Jul 2002

3,000 4,684 2,579 1,865 109,071

Aug 2002

3,036 4,513 2,509 1,743 109,019

Sep 2002

2,918 4,558 2,477 1,774 108,995

Oct 2002

3,152 4,476 2,434 1,760 109,095

Nov 2002

3,011 4,560 2,307 1,804 109,079

Dec 2002

2,598 4,617 2,423 1,874 108,902

Jan 2003

3,424 4,645 2,379 1,905 108,971

Feb 2003

2,999 4,429 2,336 1,871 108,827

Mar 2003

2,685 4,147 2,266 1,724 108,633

Apr 2003

2,969 4,397 2,274 1,890 108,599

May 2003

2,905 4,340 2,236 1,858 108,638

Jun 2003

2,927 4,455 2,262 1,962 108,592

Jul 2003

2,920 4,390 2,255 1,916 108,584

Aug 2003

2,968 4,411 2,262 1,880 108,615

Sep 2003

2,768 4,609 2,337 1,810 108,777

Oct 2003

2,856 4,571 2,399 1,811 108,928

Nov 2003

2,850 4,444 2,334 1,724 108,954

Dec 2003

2,901 4,692 2,338 1,825 109,064

Jan 2004

3,153 4,552 2,303 1,860 109,239

Feb 2004

3,073 4,393 2,296 1,740 109,285

Mar 2004

3,012 4,886 2,466 1,829 109,575

Apr 2004

3,260 4,810 2,523 1,809 109,803

May 2004

3,293 4,662 2,332 1,753 110,100

Jun 2004

3,085 4,658 2,539 1,743 110,195

Jul 2004

3,603 4,577 2,576 1,711 110,235

Aug 2004

3,292 4,801 2,558 1,840 110,331

Sep 2004

3,392 4,673 2,455 1,745 110,479

Oct 2004

3,415 4,770 2,527 1,650 110,806

Nov 2004

2,888 4,834 2,677 1,823 110,833

Dec 2004

3,279 4,925 2,560 1,837 110,958

Jan 2005

3,358 4,876 2,706 1,852 111,063

Feb 2005

3,489 4,960 2,519 1,877 111,298

Mar 2005

3,467 4,910 2,689 1,833 111,440

Apr 2005

3,865 4,959 2,665 1,738 111,784

May 2005

3,506 4,988 2,744 1,775 111,929

Jun 2005

3,648 5,036 2,675 1,855 112,194

Jul 2005

3,910 4,922 2,674 1,731 112,471

Aug 2005

3,686 5,103 2,818 1,775 112,661

Sep 2005

3,833 5,110 2,895 1,793 112,745

Oct 2005

3,898 4,676 2,795 1,565 112,847

Nov 2005

3,863 4,967 2,758 1,584 113,154

Dec 2005

3,666 4,780 2,657 1,615 113,289

Jan 2006

3,928 4,884 2,791 1,562 113,603

Feb 2006

3,841 4,988 2,818 1,564 113,884

Mar 2006

4,063 5,005 2,844 1,532 114,156

Apr 2006

4,243 4,772 2,631 1,689 114,308

May 2006

3,976 5,126 2,869 1,778 114,332

Jun 2006

3,930 4,926 2,873 1,554 114,415

Jul 2006

3,652 5,006 2,818 1,656 114,570

Aug 2006

4,078 4,839 2,830 1,525 114,711

Sep 2006

4,048 4,800 2,777 1,603 114,788

Oct 2006

4,066 4,869 2,773 1,719 114,814

Nov 2006

3,917 5,184 2,902 1,765 115,007

Dec 2006

3,876 4,902 2,876 1,629 115,175

Jan 2007

4,194 4,883 2,816 1,647 115,402

Feb 2007

4,033 4,832 2,843 1,648 115,451

Mar 2007

4,210 5,012 2,810 1,702 115,647

Apr 2007

4,379 4,776 2,726 1,777 115,680

May 2007

4,117 4,893 2,825 1,649 115,815

Jun 2007

4,163 4,814 2,672 1,742 115,878

Jul 2007

4,038 4,725 2,775 1,608 115,884

Aug 2007

4,079 4,719 2,793 1,702 115,801

Sep 2007

4,072 4,755 2,480 1,981 115,844

Oct 2007

3,881 4,908 2,727 1,817 115,904

Nov 2007

3,730 4,830 2,623 1,831 115,973

Dec 2007

3,713 4,615 2,651 1,660 116,035

Jan 2008

3,858 4,554 2,687 1,750 116,031

Feb 2008

3,619 4,620 2,642 1,825 115,921

Mar 2008

3,574 4,439 2,443 1,734 115,840

Apr 2008

3,703 4,568 2,730 1,752 115,604

May 2008

3,486 4,297 2,471 1,750 115,387

Jun 2008

3,335 4,447 2,530 1,879 115,199

Jul 2008

3,412 4,183 2,431 1,812 114,935

Aug 2008

3,245 4,239 2,270 1,981 114,659

Sep 2008

2,854 4,040 2,312 1,872 114,246

Oct 2008

2,910 4,162 2,279 2,033 113,759

Nov 2008

2,594 3,688 1,952 2,086 112,989

Dec 2008

2,545 3,951 1,977 2,304 112,286

Jan 2009

2,387 3,832 1,938 2,430 111,476

Feb 2009

2,441 3,753 1,803 2,372 110,775

Mar 2009

2,131 3,489 1,693 2,329 109,989

Apr 2009

1,977 3,483 1,635 2,440 109,168

May 2009

2,135 3,541 1,640 1,956 108,874

Jun 2009

2,101 3,415 1,684 1,947 108,446

Jul 2009

1,917 3,617 1,624 2,141 108,159

Aug 2009

1,989 3,466 1,572 1,949 107,947

Sep 2009

2,208 3,626 1,541 1,977 107,804

Oct 2009

1,996 3,450 1,574 1,870 107,522

Nov 2009

2,010 3,718 1,680 1,712 107,525

Dec 2009

2,090 3,565 1,589 1,871 107,299

Jan 2010

2,251 3,596 1,569 1,750 107,308

Feb 2010

2,230 3,510 1,602 1,679 107,250

Mar 2010

2,251 3,849 1,684 1,714 107,401

Apr 2010

2,571 3,756 1,812 1,553 107,571

May 2010

2,511 3,646 1,700 1,585 107,666

Jun 2010

2,357 3,781 1,806 1,611 107,782

Jul 2010

2,645 3,843 1,740 1,819 107,875

Aug 2010

2,588 3,656 1,792 1,511 108,008

Sep 2010

2,457 3,736 1,799 1,572 108,118

Oct 2010

2,685 3,762 1,748 1,544 108,335

Nov 2010

2,617 3,804 1,668 1,610 108,474

Dec 2010

2,469 3,880 1,830 1,650 108,568

Jan 2011

2,611 3,642 1,709 1,615 108,620

Feb 2011

2,754 3,840 1,760 1,551 108,845

Mar 2011

2,797 4,044 1,863 1,601 109,122

Apr 2011

2,948 3,946 1,820 1,538 109,453

May 2011

2,826 3,869 1,915 1,581 109,589

Jun 2011

2,877 4,005 1,846 1,720 109,788

Jul 2011

3,161 3,911 1,851 1,631 109,975

Aug 2011

2,839 3,927 1,963 1,593 110,119

Sep 2011

3,108 4,043 1,933 1,641 110,386

Oct 2011

3,059 3,972 1,845 1,613 110,580

Nov 2011

2,820 3,976 1,829 1,646 110,752

Dec 2011

3,023 3,933 1,819 1,625 110,970

Jan 2012

3,381 4,014 1,850 1,619 111,326

Feb 2012

3,110 4,128 1,950 1,669 111,558

Mar 2012

3,425 4,182 2,033 1,558 111,826

Apr 2012

3,266 4,012 1,970 1,732 111,910

May 2012

3,325 4,160 2,049 1,722 112,047

Jun 2012

3,419 4,133 2,060 1,711 112,096

Jul 2012

3,326 3,977 1,980 1,561 112,269

Aug 2012

3,277 4,145 2,043 1,727 112,439

Sep 2012

3,156 3,959 1,863 1,656 112,624

Oct 2012

3,329 4,034 1,912 1,687 112,799

Nov 2012

3,178 4,114 1,935 1,693 112,949

Dec 2012

3,196 4,063 1,953 1,508 113,188

Jan 2013

3,398 4,148 2,166 1,508 113,413

Feb 2013

3,560 4,193 2,135 1,505 113,666

Mar 2013

3,512 4,036 1,972 1,589 113,833

Apr 2013

3,493 4,222 2,168 1,623 114,013

May 2013

3,459 4,287 2,121 1,628 114,258

Jun 2013

3,523 4,118 2,126 1,549 114,440

Jul 2013

3,512 4,254 2,243 1,556 114,576

Aug 2013

3,539 4,421 2,277 1,634 114,820

Sep 2013

3,568 4,394 2,280 1,660 115,017

Oct 2013

3,711 4,160 2,283 1,445 115,232

Nov 2013

3,472 4,298 2,239 1,466 115,440

Dec 2013

3,451 4,270 2,118 1,594 115,556

Jan 2014

3,611 4,330 2,223 1,634 115,740

Feb 2014

3,744 4,364 2,257 1,579 115,909

Mar 2014

3,755 4,433 2,305 1,535 116,162

Apr 2014

4,084 4,500 2,333 1,588 116,447

May 2014

4,144 4,483 2,378 1,558 116,693

Jun 2014

4,164 4,481 2,357 1,593 116,967

Jul 2014

4,168 4,714 2,453 1,741 117,180

Aug 2014

4,503 4,526 2,409 1,595 117,421

Sep 2014

4,134 4,750 2,635 1,577 117,672

Oct 2014

4,518 4,815 2,618 1,695 117,906

Nov 2014

4,251 4,740 2,473 1,584 118,196

Dec 2014

4,357 4,841 2,440 1,643 118,432

Jan 2015

4,601 4,709 2,622 1,620 118,637

Feb 2015

4,619 4,699 2,523 1,580 118,884

Mar 2015

4,658 4,754 2,572 1,796 118,973

Apr 2015

5,102 4,773 2,570 1,686 119,219

May 2015

4,893 4,787 2,587 1,549 119,535

Jun 2015

4,704 4,799 2,637 1,675 119,724

Jul 2015

5,341 4,764 2,643 1,568 119,958

Aug 2015

4,871 4,732 2,766 1,578 120,084

Sep 2015

4,917 4,834 2,645 1,765 120,203

Oct 2015

5,047 4,955 2,670 1,635 120,536

Nov 2015

4,751 4,977 2,738 1,578 120,775

Dec 2015

4,900 5,129 2,871 1,634 120,993

Jan 2016

5,235 4,775 2,733 1,605 121,083

Feb 2016

5,118 5,125 2,800 1,736 121,315

Mar 2016

5,435 4,923 2,749 1,636 121,515

Apr 2016

5,354 4,887 2,823 1,614 121,685

May 2016

5,173 4,849 2,863 1,634 121,705

Jun 2016

5,138 4,885 2,874 1,519 121,994

Jul 2016

5,370 4,928 2,935 1,507 122,225

Aug 2016

5,019 4,936 2,987 1,542 122,397

Sep 2016

5,118 4,886 2,933 1,419 122,636

Oct 2016

5,026 4,889 2,923 1,510 122,785

Nov 2016

5,072 4,943 2,859 1,578 122,959

Dec 2016

4,992 5,004 2,797 1,588 123,131

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Exploration of trends using firm size data

The total private data series exhibit some interesting trends in the labor market over the business cycle, but what can we observe when the data are broken out by size of firm? A firm is a worksite or a collection of related worksites referred to as establishments that operate in one industry or in multiple industries. The JOLTS program grouped sampled establishments by parent firm using the federal employer identification number (EIN) and published the new experimental firm size series in September 2017. The series includes the period December 2000 (the beginning of the JOLTS published series) through December 2016 and represents the U.S. private sector.1

At the total private level, we saw that job openings, hires, and quits all served as signals going into the 2007–09 recession. But when broken out by firm size, we see differences. Using rates rather than levels allows easier comparison across data elements and across size classes.

The job openings rate turned downward in all firm sizes before the beginning of the recession, but at different times. The job openings rate at large firms (chart 2) reached its highest point in November 2005 and then began to trend downward, 2 years before the official start of the recession. The job openings rate at medium firms (chart 3) turned much later—April 2007—and at small firms (chart 4) later yet in September 2007. Therefore, it is the largest firms that first signaled the upcoming recession through declining job openings.

Hires and quits trend similarly in each of the firm sizes. They have both served as signals for firms of all sizes, declining before the official onset of the recession, but the timing differed between the small and medium firms and their larger counterparts. The hires rates at small and medium firms reached their pre-recession high in September 2005—over 2 years before the start of the recession—then began to trend downward. The hires rate at large firms began a downward trend in December 2006, 1 year before the start of the recession. The quits trends are similar to the hires trends. The quits rate began to decline in 2005 at small and medium firms, and began to decline at large firms later, in April 2007. Therefore, in a reversal from job openings, the early warning of the upcoming recession with regard to hires and quits was from small and medium firms.

At the total private level, job openings outnumbered hires starting in 2015. The firm-size data show that this change was driven by the largest firms where the job openings rate surpassed the hires rate in 2015. At the small and medium firms, the job openings rate and hires rate are further apart with higher job openings, although the gap diminished in 2015 for medium firms and in 2016 for small firms. Therefore, the size data show that it is the largest firms that primarily account for the phenomenon of job openings outnumbering hires at the total private level.

The layoffs and discharges data at the total private level showed that firms resort to layoffs only during the worst of economic times and quickly reduce layoffs as soon as they can. The firm size data show some differences in timing. The small and medium firms waited to increase layoffs until the economy was well into the recession—May and September 2008, respectively. The largest firms, though, increased layoffs as soon as the recession began. Through the firm size data, we see that the smaller firms waited as long as possible before resorting to layoffs, but the largest firms turned to laying off workers more quickly.

Another trend visible at the total private level was quits outnumbering layoffs and discharges for all months except during the deepest part of the Great Recession. The firm size data show that in the small and medium firms, the quits rates were higher than the layoffs and discharges rates until the fourth quarter of 2008 when they reversed. In both small and medium firms, it wasn’t until 2012 that the quits rate again rose above the layoffs and discharges rate. In the large firms, we see that layoffs and discharges never fully outpaced quits. For a brief period, February through October 2009, the rates were essentially equal; quits never really fell behind. Therefore, when we see at the total private level that layoffs and discharges pulled ahead of quits during the Great Recession, it was at the small and medium firms where the reversal occurred.

View Chart Data

 Chart 2. Firm-based size class estimates: small firms, 1–49 employees, seasonally adjusted
Month Job openings Hires Quits Layoffs and discharges

Dec 2000

3% 4.3% 2.3% 1.7%

Jan 2001

3.9% 4.7% 2.2% 2.2%

Feb 2001

3.6% 4.2% 2.3% 1.5%

Mar 2001

3.2% 4.4% 2.3% 1.7%

Apr 2001

3.1% 4.6% 2.7% 1.7%

May 2001

3.2% 4.4% 2.3% 1.9%

Jun 2001

2.9% 4.3% 2.4% 1.6%

Jul 2001

3.1% 4.2% 2.3% 1.5%

Aug 2001

2.8% 4.2% 2.3% 1.5%

Sep 2001

3.2% 4.2% 2.4% 1.6%

Oct 2001

2.8% 4.4% 2.1% 2.1%

Nov 2001

2.4% 4.3% 2.2% 2.1%

Dec 2001

2.5% 4.2% 2.2% 1.6%

Jan 2002

2.6% 4.1% 2.1% 1.5%

Feb 2002

2.1% 4.3% 2.1% 2.0%

Mar 2002

2.6% 3.7% 2.1% 1.4%

Apr 2002

2.2% 4.0% 2.2% 1.5%

May 2002

2.1% 4.1% 2.2% 1.8%

Jun 2002

2.1% 4.3% 2.1% 1.9%

Jul 2002

2.2% 4.6% 2.3% 1.9%

Aug 2002

2.2% 4.3% 2.5% 1.5%

Sep 2002

2.1% 4.5% 2.5% 1.6%

Oct 2002

2.2% 4.2% 2.3% 1.6%

Nov 2002

2.3% 4.3% 2.1% 1.8%

Dec 2002

1.9% 4.5% 2.3% 1.8%

Jan 2003

2.1% 4.6% 2.3% 1.7%

Feb 2003

2.4% 4.4% 2.4% 1.9%

Mar 2003

2.0% 4.1% 2.1% 1.8%

Apr 2003

2.3% 4.4% 2.0% 1.8%

May 2003

2.2% 4.2% 2.0% 2.0%

Jun 2003

2.1% 4.3% 2.3% 1.8%

Jul 2003

1.8% 4.4% 2.0% 2.0%

Aug 2003

2.0% 4.5% 2.0% 2.1%

Sep 2003

1.8% 4.4% 2.2% 1.8%

Oct 2003

1.8% 4.4% 2.2% 1.7%

Nov 2003

2.1% 4.2% 2.3% 1.6%

Dec 2003

2.3% 4.6% 2.3% 1.9%

Jan 2004

2.2% 4.5% 2.2% 1.8%

Feb 2004

2.4% 4.4% 2.4% 1.8%

Mar 2004

2.3% 4.9% 2.6% 1.8%

Apr 2004

2.1% 4.5% 2.6% 1.8%

May 2004

2.4% 4.4% 2.2% 1.8%

Jun 2004

2.1% 4.5% 2.4% 1.8%

Jul 2004

2.6% 4.4% 2.5% 1.7%

Aug 2004

2.3% 4.5% 2.3% 1.9%

Sep 2004

2.6% 4.4% 2.1% 1.9%

Oct 2004

2.3% 4.9% 2.5% 1.9%

Nov 2004

2.2% 4.7% 2.6% 1.8%

Dec 2004

2.6% 4.5% 2.5% 1.7%

Jan 2005

2.2% 4.5% 2.6% 1.9%

Feb 2005

2.5% 4.9% 2.4% 2.0%

Mar 2005

2.4% 4.7% 2.6% 1.9%

Apr 2005

2.8% 4.7% 2.5% 1.8%

May 2005

2.5% 4.8% 2.6% 1.9%

Jun 2005

2.6% 4.7% 2.4% 1.8%

Jul 2005

2.8% 4.3% 2.4% 1.8%

Aug 2005

2.7% 4.9% 2.7% 1.8%

Sep 2005

2.6% 4.8% 2.8% 1.7%

Oct 2005

2.7% 4.5% 2.5% 1.7%

Nov 2005

2.6% 4.7% 2.4% 1.8%

Dec 2005

2.6% 4.2% 2.5% 1.5%

Jan 2006

2.8% 4.4% 2.4% 1.5%

Feb 2006

2.6% 4.5% 2.5% 1.6%

Mar 2006

2.7% 4.3% 2.5% 1.5%

Apr 2006

2.6% 4.5% 2.4% 1.7%

May 2006

2.4% 4.6% 2.6% 1.5%

Jun 2006

2.6% 4.4% 2.6% 1.5%

Jul 2006

2.2% 4.5% 2.6% 1.5%

Aug 2006

2.6% 4.3% 2.5% 1.5%

Sep 2006

2.7% 4.2% 2.3% 1.7%

Oct 2006

2.5% 4.1% 2.4% 1.6%

Nov 2006

2.8% 4.5% 2.4% 1.8%

Dec 2006

2.6% 4.4% 2.5% 1.6%

Jan 2007

3.0% 4.3% 2.3% 1.6%

Feb 2007

2.9% 4.3% 2.4% 1.6%

Mar 2007

2.9% 4.3% 2.4% 1.6%

Apr 2007

2.6% 4.0% 2.2% 1.8%

May 2007

2.5% 4.3% 2.4% 1.6%

Jun 2007

3.1% 4.1% 2.2% 1.6%

Jul 2007

2.8% 4.1% 2.4% 1.7%

Aug 2007

2.8% 4.1% 2.3% 1.7%

Sep 2007

3.2% 4.2% 2.0% 2.1%

Oct 2007

2.9% 4.3% 2.3% 2.0%

Nov 2007

2.4% 4.0% 2.1% 1.6%

Dec 2007

2.5% 4.0% 2.3% 1.6%

Jan 2008

2.5% 3.8% 2.3% 1.7%

Feb 2008

2.3% 3.9% 2.1% 1.7%

Mar 2008

2.3% 3.9% 2.1% 1.7%

Apr 2008

2.2% 3.8% 2.6% 1.4%

May 2008

2.2% 3.9% 2.1% 1.8%

Jun 2008

2.0% 4.0% 2.1% 2.0%

Jul 2008

2.2% 3.7% 2.1% 1.8%

Aug 2008

2.0% 4.0% 1.8% 2.2%

Sep 2008

1.9% 3.4% 2.0% 1.7%

Oct 2008

1.8% 3.8% 2.2% 2.0%

Nov 2008

1.9% 3.6% 1.8% 2.3%

Dec 2008

2.0% 3.9% 1.7% 2.5%

Jan 2009

1.6% 4.0% 1.7% 2.7%

Feb 2009

1.9% 4.1% 1.8% 2.7%

Mar 2009

1.6% 3.8% 1.5% 2.6%

Apr 2009

1.7% 4.0% 1.4% 2.5%

May 2009

1.7% 3.8% 1.6% 2.3%

Jun 2009

1.8% 3.6% 1.6% 2.3%

Jul 2009

1.4% 4.4% 1.4% 2.4%

Aug 2009

1.4% 3.7% 1.6% 2.2%

Sep 2009

1.8% 3.9% 1.7% 2.4%

Oct 2009

1.6% 4.1% 1.5% 1.9%

Nov 2009

1.7% 3.7% 1.7% 2.0%

Dec 2009

1.5% 4.1% 1.7% 2.3%

Jan 2010

2.1% 3.9% 1.7% 1.8%

Feb 2010

1.9% 3.6% 1.6% 1.9%

Mar 2010

1.6% 3.8% 1.6% 1.9%

Apr 2010

1.9% 4.1% 1.7% 1.9%

May 2010

2.1% 3.7% 1.5% 2.1%

Jun 2010

1.7% 3.7% 1.7% 1.9%

Jul 2010

1.9% 3.8% 1.5% 2.1%

Aug 2010

1.9% 3.8% 1.7% 1.7%

Sep 2010

1.7% 3.7% 1.7% 1.8%

Oct 2010

1.9% 3.8% 1.7% 1.9%

Nov 2010

2.1% 3.7% 1.6% 1.7%

Dec 2010

1.8% 3.8% 1.8% 1.8%

Jan 2011

1.6% 3.5% 1.5% 1.8%

Feb 2011

1.8% 3.9% 1.7% 1.7%

Mar 2011

1.9% 3.8% 1.6% 1.8%

Apr 2011

1.8% 3.7% 1.7% 1.6%

May 2011

1.8% 3.6% 1.7% 1.7%

Jun 2011

1.8% 4.0% 1.7% 1.9%

Jul 2011

1.9% 3.6% 1.7% 1.8%

Aug 2011

1.8% 3.7% 1.7% 1.7%

Sep 2011

2.0% 3.9% 1.8% 1.8%

Oct 2011

1.8% 3.6% 1.8% 1.7%

Nov 2011

1.8% 3.9% 1.7% 1.8%

Dec 2011

2.0% 3.7% 1.7% 1.6%

Jan 2012

2.7% 3.9% 1.6% 1.6%

Feb 2012

2.1% 3.8% 1.7% 1.7%

Mar 2012

2.1% 3.8% 2.0% 1.5%

Apr 2012

2.5% 3.9% 1.7% 1.8%

May 2012

2.2% 3.7% 1.9% 1.7%

Jun 2012

2.4% 3.7% 1.8% 1.8%

Jul 2012

1.9% 3.5% 2.0% 1.3%

Aug 2012

2.0% 3.6% 1.8% 1.6%

Sep 2012

2.2% 3.6% 1.7% 1.5%

Oct 2012

2.0% 3.4% 1.7% 1.7%

Nov 2012

2.2% 3.9% 1.7% 1.7%

Dec 2012

1.9% 3.7% 1.7% 1.4%

Jan 2013

1.9% 3.6% 2.1% 1.3%

Feb 2013

2.4% 4.0% 2.0% 1.5%

Mar 2013

2.3% 3.6% 1.8% 1.4%

Apr 2013

2.1% 3.4% 1.9% 1.5%

May 2013

2.2% 4.0% 1.7% 1.6%

Jun 2013

2.3% 3.7% 1.8% 1.5%

Jul 2013

2.4% 3.7% 1.8% 1.3%

Aug 2013

2.2% 3.8% 1.9% 1.5%

Sep 2013

2.4% 3.7% 1.8% 1.6%

Oct 2013

2.4% 3.5% 1.7% 1.2%

Nov 2013

2.1% 3.4% 1.9% 1.4%

Dec 2013

2.7% 3.5% 1.7% 1.7%

Jan 2014

2.3% 3.5% 1.8% 1.5%

Feb 2014

2.2% 3.3% 1.8% 1.3%

Mar 2014

2.2% 3.5% 1.9% 1.3%

Apr 2014

2.1% 3.3% 1.9% 1.4%

May 2014

2.7% 3.5% 1.7% 1.4%

Jun 2014

2.5% 3.4% 1.8% 1.1%

Jul 2014

2.6% 3.9% 1.9% 1.5%

Aug 2014

3.1% 3.7% 1.9% 1.5%

Sep 2014

2.6% 3.8% 2.1% 1.3%

Oct 2014

2.8% 3.8% 2.0% 1.4%

Nov 2014

2.8% 3.8% 2.2% 1.5%

Dec 2014

3.1% 4.0% 2.0% 1.7%

Jan 2015

3.0% 3.8% 2.1% 1.3%

Feb 2015

3.1% 3.9% 2.2% 1.4%

Mar 2015

3.2% 3.8% 2.1% 1.5%

Apr 2015

3.4% 3.9% 2.1% 1.5%

May 2015

2.8% 4.0% 2.1% 1.4%

Jun 2015

2.8% 4.0% 2.2% 1.5%

Jul 2015

3.3% 3.7% 2.3% 1.1%

Aug 2015

3.2% 3.9% 2.2% 1.4%

Sep 2015

3.0% 3.9% 2.2% 1.6%

Oct 2015

3.4% 4.1% 2.0% 1.4%

Nov 2015

3.3% 3.8% 2.4% 1.3%

Dec 2015

3.3% 3.9% 2.4% 1.3%

Jan 2016

3.2% 3.9% 2.0% 1.3%

Feb 2016

3.6% 4.0% 2.3% 1.5%

Mar 2016

3.7% 3.9% 2.3% 1.3%

Apr 2016

3.1% 3.6% 2.2% 1.1%

May 2016

3.3% 3.6% 2.2% 1.4%

Jun 2016

3.2% 3.8% 2.3% 1.3%

Jul 2016

3.4% 3.8% 2.2% 1.2%

Aug 2016

3.0% 3.7% 2.1% 1.3%

Sep 2016

3.2% 3.4% 2.2% 0.9%

Oct 2016

3.2% 3.8% 2.3% 1.1%

Nov 2016

3.4% 3.9% 2.1% 1.2%

Dec 2016

3.2% 3.9% 2.2% 1.3%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

View Chart Data

Chart 3. Firm-based size class estimates: medium firms, 50–499 employees, seasonally adjusted
Month Job openings Hires Quits Layoffs and discharges

Dec 2000

3.9% 4.9% 2.9% 1.6%

Jan 2001

3.4% 4.6% 3.2% 1.8%

Feb 2001

3.2% 5.2% 3.1% 1.8%

Mar 2001

3.3% 5.2% 3.2% 1.8%

Apr 2001

3.3% 4.6% 3.0% 1.7%

May 2001

3.1% 4.7% 2.9% 1.6%

Jun 2001

3.1% 4.7% 2.8% 1.9%

Jul 2001

3.4% 4.9% 2.7% 2.2%

Aug 2001

3.0% 4.5% 2.6% 1.8%

Sep 2001

2.8% 4.7% 2.6% 2.1%

Oct 2001

2.4% 4.6% 2.7% 2.2%

Nov 2001

2.5% 4.3% 2.4% 1.9%

Dec 2001

2.5% 4.4% 2.4% 2.0%

Jan 2002

2.6% 4.4% 2.7% 1.8%

Feb 2002

2.6% 4.5% 2.6% 1.8%

Mar 2002

2.6% 4.4% 2.4% 1.9%

Apr 2002

2.6% 4.7% 2.5% 1.8%

May 2002

2.7% 4.7% 2.7% 1.8%

Jun 2002

2.6% 4.7% 2.6% 1.8%

Jul 2002

2.5% 4.5% 2.5% 1.8%

Aug 2002

2.7% 4.4% 2.3% 1.9%

Sep 2002

2.6% 4.3% 2.2% 1.8%

Oct 2002

2.7% 4.3% 2.3% 1.8%

Nov 2002

2.8% 4.3% 2.3% 1.7%

Dec 2002

2.5% 4.4% 2.3% 1.9%

Jan 2003

2.8% 4.5% 2.3% 1.8%

Feb 2003

2.4% 4.2% 2.1% 1.9%

Mar 2003

2.4% 4.0% 2.2% 1.6%

Apr 2003

2.5% 4.3% 2.2% 2.0%

May 2003

2.3% 4.2% 2.2% 1.8%

Jun 2003

2.6% 4.3% 2.1% 2.0%

Jul 2003

2.6% 4.2% 2.2% 1.7%

Aug 2003

2.6% 4.2% 2.3% 1.6%

Sep 2003

2.5% 4.5% 2.3% 1.7%

Oct 2003

2.8% 4.4% 2.3% 1.7%

Nov 2003

2.6% 4.4% 2.3% 1.7%

Dec 2003

2.6% 4.4% 2.4% 1.6%

Jan 2004

2.7% 4.4% 2.1% 1.8%

Feb 2004

2.6% 4.4% 2.4% 1.7%

Mar 2004

2.6% 4.7% 2.2% 1.9%

Apr 2004

2.7% 4.6% 2.3% 1.7%

May 2004

2.6% 4.4% 2.2% 1.7%

Jun 2004

2.5% 4.4% 2.5% 1.6%

Jul 2004

3.0% 4.6% 2.4% 1.6%

Aug 2004

2.7% 4.7% 2.5% 1.9%

Sep 2004

2.8% 4.6% 2.5% 1.8%

Oct 2004

2.8% 4.5% 2.4% 1.5%

Nov 2004

2.8% 4.6% 2.4% 1.7%

Dec 2004

2.9% 4.6% 2.5% 1.8%

Jan 2005

2.8% 4.8% 2.5% 1.8%

Feb 2005

2.9% 4.6% 2.5% 1.6%

Mar 2005

2.9% 4.6% 2.6% 1.7%

Apr 2005

2.9% 4.6% 2.5% 1.5%

May 2005

2.9% 4.7% 2.7% 1.6%

Jun 2005

3.0% 4.8% 2.5% 1.8%

Jul 2005

3.0% 4.4% 2.6% 1.6%

Aug 2005

3.0% 4.7% 2.5% 1.7%

Sep 2005

3.2% 5.0% 2.8% 1.8%

Oct 2005

3.0% 4.3% 2.6% 1.5%

Nov 2005

3.1% 4.6% 2.6% 1.4%

Dec 2005

3.0% 4.6% 2.5% 1.7%

Jan 2006

3.1% 4.7% 2.6% 1.5%

Feb 2006

3.0% 4.8% 2.7% 1.6%

Mar 2006

3.3% 4.8% 2.7% 1.6%

Apr 2006

3.3% 4.6% 2.3% 1.7%

May 2006

3.3% 4.7% 2.5% 1.8%

Jun 2006

3.3% 4.4% 2.6% 1.5%

Jul 2006

3.1% 4.7% 2.5% 1.7%

Aug 2006

3.2% 4.5% 2.6% 1.5%

Sep 2006

3.2% 4.3% 2.5% 1.5%

Oct 2006

3.3% 4.6% 2.4% 1.7%

Nov 2006

3.3% 4.5% 2.6% 1.7%

Dec 2006

3.3% 4.5% 2.6% 1.5%

Jan 2007

3.2% 4.2% 2.5% 1.5%

Feb 2007

3.4% 4.2% 2.6% 1.5%

Mar 2007

3.4% 4.5% 2.4% 1.7%

Apr 2007

3.7% 4.5% 2.6% 1.6%

May 2007

3.5% 4.4% 2.5% 1.5%

Jun 2007

3.2% 4.5% 2.3% 1.8%

Jul 2007

3.1% 4.4% 2.6% 1.5%

Aug 2007

3.2% 4.4% 2.7% 1.6%

Sep 2007

3.2% 4.3% 2.2% 1.8%

Oct 2007

3.1% 4.5% 2.5% 1.7%

Nov 2007

3.4% 4.4% 2.4% 1.9%

Dec 2007

3.4% 4.2% 2.3% 1.7%

Jan 2008

3.4% 4.1% 2.3% 1.7%

Feb 2008

3.2% 4.2% 2.5% 1.7%

Mar 2008

2.9% 4.0% 2.3% 1.7%

Apr 2008

2.8% 4.0% 2.5% 1.7%

May 2008

3.0% 4.0% 2.3% 1.7%

Jun 2008

2.8% 4.0% 2.4% 1.6%

Jul 2008

2.8% 3.8% 2.1% 1.7%

Aug 2008

2.5% 3.8% 2.0% 1.8%

Sep 2008

2.3% 3.7% 2.1% 1.8%

Oct 2008

2.5% 3.7% 2.0% 2.0%

Nov 2008

2.2% 3.3% 1.8% 2.0%

Dec 2008

2.2% 3.6% 1.8% 2.3%

Jan 2009

1.9% 3.2% 1.8% 2.5%

Feb 2009

2.0% 3.4% 1.6% 2.3%

Mar 2009

2.0% 3.1% 1.5% 2.2%

Apr 2009

1.5% 3.0% 1.4% 2.3%

May 2009

1.8% 3.1% 1.4% 1.9%

Jun 2009

1.9% 3.1% 1.5% 1.9%

Jul 2009

1.7% 3.2% 1.4% 2.0%

Aug 2009

1.8% 3.1% 1.3% 1.9%

Sep 2009

2.0% 3.3% 1.3% 1.9%

Oct 2009

1.8% 3.3% 1.5% 1.9%

Nov 2009

1.7% 3.5% 1.6% 1.8%

Dec 2009

2.0% 3.3% 1.5% 1.8%

Jan 2010

2.1% 3.5% 1.3% 1.7%

Feb 2010

1.9% 3.4% 1.5% 1.7%

Mar 2010

2.0% 3.5% 1.6% 1.6%

Apr 2010

2.2% 3.6% 1.6% 1.4%

May 2010

1.9% 3.4% 1.6% 1.6%

Jun 2010

2.1% 3.6% 1.7% 1.6%

Jul 2010

2.1% 3.7% 1.6% 1.7%

Aug 2010

2.2% 3.3% 1.5% 1.4%

Sep 2010

2.1% 3.5% 1.7% 1.5%

Oct 2010

2.1% 3.5% 1.6% 1.6%

Nov 2010

2.3% 3.7% 1.6% 1.7%

Dec 2010

2.0% 3.8% 1.7% 1.8%

Jan 2011

2.3% 3.6% 1.6% 1.5%

Feb 2011

2.4% 3.5% 1.6% 1.5%

Mar 2011

2.5% 3.8% 1.7% 1.7%

Apr 2011

2.4% 3.9% 1.8% 1.5%

May 2011

2.3% 3.6% 1.7% 1.6%

Jun 2011

2.4% 3.6% 1.6% 1.6%

Jul 2011

2.6% 3.5% 1.7% 1.6%

Aug 2011

2.3% 3.8% 1.8% 1.5%

Sep 2011

2.6% 3.8% 1.8% 1.6%

Oct 2011

2.5% 3.5% 1.6% 1.5%

Nov 2011

2.7% 3.7% 1.7% 1.5%

Dec 2011

2.7% 3.7% 1.7% 1.6%

Jan 2012

2.8% 3.8% 1.7% 1.5%

Feb 2012

2.6% 3.6% 1.7% 1.4%

Mar 2012

2.8% 3.6% 1.9% 1.4%

Apr 2012

2.7% 3.7% 1.7% 1.6%

May 2012

2.7% 3.9% 1.7% 1.9%

Jun 2012

2.8% 4.0% 2.0% 1.7%

Jul 2012

2.7% 3.5% 1.8% 1.6%

Aug 2012

2.9% 3.9% 1.7% 1.7%

Sep 2012

2.6% 3.8% 1.6% 1.7%

Oct 2012

2.7% 3.4% 1.7% 1.5%

Nov 2012

2.7% 3.8% 1.7% 1.6%

Dec 2012

2.6% 3.7% 1.8% 1.3%

Jan 2013

2.4% 3.4% 2.0% 1.6%

Feb 2013

3.0% 3.8% 1.9% 1.5%

Mar 2013

2.8% 3.7% 1.8% 1.6%

Apr 2013

2.6% 3.7% 2.2% 1.6%

May 2013

2.9% 3.9% 1.9% 1.5%

Jun 2013

2.7% 3.6% 1.8% 1.4%

Jul 2013

2.7% 3.7% 1.8% 1.5%

Aug 2013

2.8% 3.9% 1.9% 1.6%

Sep 2013

2.5% 3.6% 2.0% 1.5%

Oct 2013

2.9% 3.8% 2.0% 1.2%

Nov 2013

2.9% 3.6% 2.0% 1.3%

Dec 2013

2.8% 3.6% 2.0% 1.4%

Jan 2014

2.8% 3.9% 1.9% 1.5%

Feb 2014

2.9% 3.8% 2.0% 1.5%

Mar 2014

2.9% 3.8% 1.9% 1.5%

Apr 2014

3.1% 3.7% 2.0% 1.4%

May 2014

3.3% 3.9% 2.0% 1.4%

Jun 2014

3.4% 4.0% 2.0% 1.6%

Jul 2014

3.3% 4.1% 2.1% 1.6%

Aug 2014

3.4% 3.9% 2.0% 1.4%

Sep 2014

3.4% 3.9% 2.2% 1.4%

Oct 2014

3.5% 4.3% 2.2% 1.5%

Nov 2014

3.4% 4.0% 2.2% 1.5%

Dec 2014

3.3% 4.0% 2.2% 1.4%

Jan 2015

3.6% 4.0% 2.1% 1.5%

Feb 2015

3.6% 4.1% 2.3% 1.4%

Mar 2015

3.5% 4.0% 2.4% 1.5%

Apr 2015

3.5% 4.1% 2.1% 1.5%

May 2015

3.7% 3.9% 2.3% 1.3%

Jun 2015

3.6% 4.1% 2.2% 1.6%

Jul 2015

4.0% 4.0% 2.2% 1.3%

Aug 2015

3.7% 4.0% 2.2% 1.5%

Sep 2015

3.8% 4.0% 2.1% 1.6%

Oct 2015

3.6% 4.0% 2.2% 1.5%

Nov 2015

3.6% 4.0% 2.4% 1.3%

Dec 2015

3.9% 4.3% 2.3% 1.6%

Jan 2016

3.6% 3.9% 2.3% 1.3%

Feb 2016

3.6% 4.1% 2.3% 1.5%

Mar 2016

3.8% 4.0% 2.2% 1.5%

Apr 2016

3.6% 3.9% 2.3% 1.5%

May 2016

3.6% 4.0% 2.4% 1.4%

Jun 2016

3.5% 4.1% 2.4% 1.4%

Jul 2016

3.7% 3.9% 2.4% 1.3%

Aug 2016

3.6% 4.2% 2.4% 1.4%

Sep 2016

3.7% 4.0% 2.4% 1.3%

Oct 2016

3.6% 4.1% 2.3% 1.3%

Nov 2016

3.9% 4.3% 2.4% 1.4%

Dec 2016

3.8% 4.0% 2.4% 1.4%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

View Chart Data

Chart 4. Firm-based size class estimates: large firms, 500-plus employees, seasonally adjusted
Month Job openings Hires Quits Layoffs and discharges

Dec 2000

4.1% 4.3% 2.7% 1.5%

Jan 2001

4.2% 4.9% 3.0% 1.6%

Feb 2001

4.3% 4.5% 2.9% 1.5%

Mar 2001

4.1% 4.7% 2.7% 1.9%

Apr 2001

4.4% 4.6% 3.0% 1.6%

May 2001

3.7% 4.6% 2.8% 1.7%

Jun 2001

3.7% 4.1% 2.6% 1.5%

Jul 2001

3.5% 4.1% 2.5% 1.4%

Aug 2001

3.6% 4.0% 2.4% 1.5%

Sep 2001

3.4% 3.9% 2.2% 1.8%

Oct 2001

3.0% 4.0% 2.6% 1.8%

Nov 2001

3.1% 3.9% 2.2% 1.7%

Dec 2001

3.2% 3.8% 2.2% 1.5%

Jan 2002

3.4% 4.1% 2.5% 1.6%

Feb 2002

3.0% 4.0% 2.3% 1.6%

Mar 2002

3.1% 4.0% 2.2% 1.5%

Apr 2002

3.0% 4.1% 2.3% 1.6%

May 2002

3.1% 4.0% 2.2% 1.6%

Jun 2002

2.9% 3.8% 2.3% 1.2%

Jul 2002

3.0% 3.9% 2.2% 1.5%

Aug 2002

3.0% 3.8% 2.0% 1.5%

Sep 2002

2.9% 3.9% 2.2% 1.4%

Oct 2002

3.3% 3.9% 2.1% 1.5%

Nov 2002

3.1% 4.0% 2.1% 1.5%

Dec 2002

2.7% 4.0% 2.1% 1.7%

Jan 2003

3.3% 3.9% 1.9% 1.7%

Feb 2003

3.0% 3.9% 2.1% 1.6%

Mar 2003

2.7% 3.7% 2.0% 1.5%

Apr 2003

2.7% 3.5% 2.0% 1.5%

May 2003

2.9% 3.7% 1.9% 1.4%

Jun 2003

3.0% 3.9% 1.9% 1.6%

Jul 2003

2.9% 3.7% 1.9% 1.6%

Aug 2003

3.0% 3.7% 1.9% 1.5%

Sep 2003

3.0% 3.9% 1.9% 1.5%

Oct 2003

2.8% 3.9% 2.0% 1.5%

Nov 2003

3.0% 3.8% 2.0% 1.5%

Dec 2003

3.0% 3.9% 2.0% 1.5%

Jan 2004

3.0% 3.8% 2.0% 1.5%

Feb 2004

3.1% 3.7% 1.8% 1.5%

Mar 2004

3.1% 4.0% 2.0% 1.5%

Apr 2004

3.3% 4.2% 2.1% 1.4%

May 2004

3.2% 4.0% 2.0% 1.5%

Jun 2004

3.2% 3.9% 2.0% 1.5%

Jul 2004

3.5% 3.8% 2.0% 1.4%

Aug 2004

3.1% 4.0% 2.2% 1.5%

Sep 2004

3.3% 3.8% 2.1% 1.3%

Oct 2004

3.4% 3.8% 2.1% 1.2%

Nov 2004

3.0% 3.8% 2.1% 1.4%

Dec 2004

3.4% 4.1% 2.1% 1.6%

Jan 2005

3.3% 4.2% 2.3% 1.4%

Feb 2005

3.5% 4.2% 2.2% 1.5%

Mar 2005

3.6% 4.1% 2.2% 1.5%

Apr 2005

3.6% 4.1% 2.2% 1.4%

May 2005

3.4% 4.0% 2.2% 1.4%

Jun 2005

3.6% 4.2% 2.2% 1.5%

Jul 2005

3.7% 4.3% 2.3% 1.5%

Aug 2005

3.5% 4.2% 2.2% 1.4%

Sep 2005

3.8% 4.0% 2.3% 1.3%

Oct 2005

3.9% 3.9% 2.3% 1.2%

Nov 2005

4.3% 4.0% 2.3% 1.2%

Dec 2005

4.0% 3.9% 2.2% 1.2%

Jan 2006

3.6% 4.0% 2.3% 1.1%

Feb 2006

4.1% 4.1% 2.4% 1.1%

Mar 2006

4.1% 4.1% 2.4% 1.1%

Apr 2006

4.0% 4.0% 2.2% 1.1%

May 2006

4.0% 4.3% 2.4% 1.4%

Jun 2006

3.7% 4.1% 2.3% 1.2%

Jul 2006

3.6% 4.0% 2.2% 1.3%

Aug 2006

4.1% 4.0% 2.4% 1.1%

Sep 2006

3.9% 4.0% 2.4% 1.2%

Oct 2006

4.0% 4.1% 2.4% 1.3%

Nov 2006

4.1% 4.3% 2.5% 1.2%

Dec 2006

4.0% 4.1% 2.4% 1.2%

Jan 2007

4.0% 4.1% 2.4% 1.1%

Feb 2007

3.8% 4.2% 2.5% 1.3%

Mar 2007

4.0% 4.2% 2.5% 1.2%

Apr 2007

3.8% 4.0% 2.3% 1.2%

May 2007

4.0% 4.2% 2.4% 1.2%

Jun 2007

3.9% 3.9% 2.3% 1.2%

Jul 2007

3.8% 3.9% 2.3% 1.2%

Aug 2007

3.8% 3.8% 2.3% 1.2%

Sep 2007

3.6% 4.0% 2.3% 1.4%

Oct 2007

3.5% 3.8% 2.3% 1.2%

Nov 2007

3.7% 4.0% 2.3% 1.2%

Dec 2007

3.7% 3.8% 2.3% 1.1%

Jan 2008

3.5% 3.8% 2.3% 1.1%

Feb 2008

3.6% 3.8% 2.2% 1.3%

Mar 2008

3.5% 3.5% 2.0% 1.3%

Apr 2008

3.5% 4.1% 2.1% 1.5%

May 2008

3.3% 3.5% 2.1% 1.3%

Jun 2008

3.4% 3.6% 2.1% 1.4%

Jul 2008

3.3% 3.5% 2.0% 1.4%

Aug 2008

3.2% 3.5% 2.1% 1.3%

Sep 2008

2.8% 3.4% 2.0% 1.4%

Oct 2008

2.7% 3.5% 1.9% 1.4%

Nov 2008

2.6% 2.9% 1.8% 1.6%

Dec 2008

2.6% 3.1% 1.9% 1.5%

Jan 2009

2.5% 3.2% 1.7% 1.7%

Feb 2009

2.4% 2.8% 1.5% 1.7%

Mar 2009

2.0% 2.6% 1.5% 1.6%

Apr 2009

1.7% 2.7% 1.5% 1.7%

May 2009

2.0% 3.0% 1.5% 1.5%

Jun 2009

2.0% 2.7% 1.4% 1.3%

Jul 2009

1.9% 2.6% 1.4% 1.4%

Aug 2009

2.0% 2.9% 1.3% 1.3%

Sep 2009

2.2% 2.9% 1.3% 1.2%

Oct 2009

1.9% 2.5% 1.4% 1.4%

Nov 2009

2.2% 3.0% 1.6% 1.2%

Dec 2009

2.3% 2.9% 1.5% 1.3%

Jan 2010

2.1% 2.8% 1.4% 1.4%

Feb 2010

2.3% 2.9% 1.4% 1.2%

Mar 2010

2.5% 3.1% 1.5% 1.2%

Apr 2010

2.4% 2.9% 1.6% 1.0%

May 2010

2.5% 3.1% 1.6% 1.1%

Jun 2010

2.4% 3.2% 1.6% 1.2%

Jul 2010

2.7% 3.2% 1.6% 1.2%

Aug 2010

2.6% 3.2% 1.6% 1.2%

Sep 2010

2.6% 3.2% 1.6% 1.2%

Oct 2010

2.6% 3.2% 1.6% 1.0%

Nov 2010

2.9% 3.2% 1.6% 1.2%

Dec 2010

2.8% 3.2% 1.7% 1.2%

Jan 2011

2.9% 3.2% 1.6% 1.2%

Feb 2011

2.9% 3.4% 1.6% 1.1%

Mar 2011

3.0% 3.4% 1.8% 1.1%

Apr 2011

3.1% 3.3% 1.6% 1.2%

May 2011

3.1% 3.5% 1.7% 1.3%

Jun 2011

3.2% 3.5% 1.7% 1.3%

Jul 2011

3.1% 3.4% 1.7% 1.2%

Aug 2011

3.1% 3.2% 1.6% 1.1%

Sep 2011

3.3% 3.3% 1.6% 1.2%

Oct 2011

3.3% 3.5% 1.6% 1.3%

Nov 2011

3.0% 3.3% 1.7% 1.3%

Dec 2011

3.0% 3.3% 1.6% 1.3%

Jan 2012

3.1% 3.3% 1.6% 1.2%

Feb 2012

3.3% 3.7% 1.7% 1.3%

Mar 2012

3.6% 3.6% 1.7% 1.3%

Apr 2012

2.8% 3.3% 1.9% 1.3%

May 2012

3.3% 3.6% 1.8% 1.1%

Jun 2012

3.3% 3.5% 1.8% 1.2%

Jul 2012

3.3% 3.4% 1.5% 1.2%

Aug 2012

3.1% 3.5% 1.7% 1.4%

Sep 2012

3.1% 3.3% 1.7% 1.3%

Oct 2012

3.4% 3.6% 1.6% 1.3%

Nov 2012

3.4% 3.5% 1.7% 1.4%

Dec 2012

3.5% 3.6% 1.8% 1.3%

Jan 2013

3.8% 3.7% 1.7% 1.2%

Feb 2013

3.6% 3.6% 1.8% 1.1%

Mar 2013

3.4% 3.3% 1.7% 1.2%

Apr 2013

3.6% 3.9% 1.7% 1.2%

May 2013

3.2% 3.4% 1.8% 1.3%

Jun 2013

3.5% 3.7% 2.0% 1.3%

Jul 2013

3.4% 3.6% 2.0% 1.2%

Aug 2013

3.6% 3.8% 1.9% 1.3%

Sep 2013

3.8% 3.9% 2.0% 1.3%

Oct 2013

3.6% 3.4% 2.1% 1.3%

Nov 2013

3.7% 4.0% 2.0% 1.1%

Dec 2013

3.4% 3.8% 1.9% 1.2%

Jan 2014

3.5% 3.7% 1.9% 1.2%

Feb 2014

3.8% 3.9% 2.0% 1.3%

Mar 2014

3.8% 4.0% 2.2% 1.2%

Apr 2014

3.9% 3.9% 2.0% 1.2%

May 2014

3.7% 3.9% 2.2% 1.2%

Jun 2014

4.0% 4.0% 2.1% 1.3%

Jul 2014

3.9% 4.0% 2.2% 1.2%

Aug 2014

4.2% 4.0% 2.1% 1.3%

Sep 2014

3.9% 4.1% 2.2% 1.3%

Oct 2014

4.2% 4.0% 2.2% 1.4%

Nov 2014

4.3% 4.2% 2.2% 1.3%

Dec 2014

4.3% 4.1% 2.0% 1.2%

Jan 2015

4.1% 4.1% 2.3% 1.2%

Feb 2015

4.2% 3.8% 2.1% 1.2%

Mar 2015

4.3% 4.1% 2.1% 1.4%

Apr 2015

4.7% 4.0% 2.2% 1.3%

May 2015

4.6% 4.1% 2.1% 1.4%

Jun 2015

4.5% 4.0% 2.2% 1.3%

Jul 2015

4.9% 4.0% 2.1% 1.3%

Aug 2015

4.5% 4.0% 2.3% 1.2%

Sep 2015

4.7% 4.0% 2.2% 1.3%

Oct 2015

4.5% 4.1% 2.3% 1.2%

Nov 2015

4.7% 4.2% 2.2% 1.3%

Dec 2015

4.6% 4.4% 2.5% 1.2%

Jan 2016

4.7% 4.1% 2.4% 1.3%

Feb 2016

4.7% 4.3% 2.3% 1.3%

Mar 2016

4.8% 4.1% 2.3% 1.3%

Apr 2016

4.6% 4.0% 2.3% 1.2%

May 2016

4.7% 4.1% 2.3% 1.2%

Jun 2016

4.6% 3.9% 2.3% 1.1%

Jul 2016

4.7% 4.1% 2.5% 1.2%

Aug 2016

4.7% 4.0% 2.4% 1.1%

Sep 2016

4.8% 4.0% 2.4% 1.1%

Oct 2016

4.7% 4.0% 2.5% 1.1%

Nov 2016

4.8% 3.8% 2.5% 1.2%

Dec 2016

4.6% 4.0% 2.4% 1.2%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Conclusion

Although trends in the labor market and business cycle are visible at the total private level, breaking out the data by firm size allows more specific patterns to emerge. One insight is that firms of each size class have different movements across the business cycle although small and medium firms have some similarities. For signals of an upcoming downturn in the business cycle, the keys are hires and quits at the small and medium firms, and job openings at the largest firms. Another insight is that it is the largest firms at which job openings outnumber the hires. The firm size data also revealed that the largest firms increased layoffs sooner than small and medium firms during the recession. The data also showed that it was at the small and medium firms where layoffs and discharges outnumbered quits during the recession, whereas in the largest firms the series merely converged.

The JOLTS program invites your comments on the experimental firm size data. Please visit our website at https://www.bls.gov/jlt/, call us at (202) 691-5870, or email us at JoltsInfo@bls.gov.

This Beyond the Numbers article was prepared by Charlotte Oslund, Statistician in the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Email: oslund.charlotte@bls.gov, Telephone: (202) 691-6462.

Upon request, the information in this article will be made available to individuals who are sensory impaired. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200. Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339. This article is in the public domain and may be reproduced without permission.

Notes

1 The JOLTS program is actively soliciting feedback on the new firm-size data, seeking comments on the methodology and the estimates. Here’s a way for readers to contact JOLTS: https://www.bls.gov/jlt/contact.htm.

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Publish Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Suggested citation:

Charlotte Oslund,   “Exploring labor market trends through JOLTS firm-size data,” Beyond the Numbers, vol. 7, no. 13 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Aug 2018), https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-7/exploring-labor-market-trends-through-jolts-firm-size-data.htm (visited October 16, 2021).

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