Improving the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey

Darrell Greene


The Bureau of Labor Statistics embarked on the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) in 1999. The JOLTS collects total employment, job openings, hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, other separations, and total separations data. JOLTS initially used the interquartile method to detect outliers for each characteristic. The list of schedules with potential outliers was reviewed by analysts who determined which schedules were to be treated as atypicals because the value of one or more characteristics was not considered representative of the population. There are several statistical issues associated with the initial method. We discuss a new procedure to address these issues. The new approach uses the Winsorization method.