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Job Openings Drop By 250K In Last Two Months, Stand At 3.1 Million In December

Tyler Durden's picture


According to the latest JOLTS survey released by the BLS, the number of total job openings in December declined to 3,063,000 a drop from November's 3.2 million and even more so from October's 3.328 million. Expressed as a Job openings rate, this was a third consecutive decline, dropping from 2.5% in October to 2.3% currently. And while job openings were dropping, separation levels increased from 4.084 million in October to 4.154 in November and 4.162 million in December. The bulk of separations occurred in the construction industry where we saw a print of 473k, or over 100K more than November's 363K. Recall that construction jobs are what the recent NFP weakness has been primarily blamed on. Digging into the Separations numbers (which includes quits, or voluntary and discharges, or involuntary separations), the Quits level, which was at 1,991K in December was the highest Quit print since August 2010, when the number hit 1,998K.

Summarizing this visually:

Much more detail:

Number of unemployed persons per job opening:

  • The ratio between the unemployment level and job openings level changes over time.
  • When the recent recession began, the unemployed persons per job opening was 1.8. When the recession ended (June 2009), there were 5.9 unemployed persons per job opening.
  • The unemployed persons per job opening ratio has trended downward since the end of the recession and was 4.7 in December 2010.

Job openings and employment:

  • The number of job openings declined to a series low in July 2009, 1 month after the official end of the recent recession. Employment continued to decline after the end of the recession, reaching a low point in February 2010.
  • There were 3.1 million job openings in December 2010, which is 31 percent higher than the recent series low in July 2009. The level is still well below the 4.8 million openings at the peak in March 2007.

Hires, total separations and employment:

  • Hires, total separations, and employment all remained below pre-recession levels in December.
  • The number of hires decreased by 23 percent during the recession (December 2007 to June 2009). Since June 2009, the number of hires has increased by only 9 percent. Hires totaled 4.2 million in December.
  • Unlike hires, separations continued to decline following the recession. Separations fell by 20 percent between December 2007 and February 2010. In December, there were 4.2 million total separations, only 193,000 more than the low point in February.

Quit and layoffs and discharges

  • Quits tend to rise when there is a perception that another job is available and tend to fall when there is a perception that jobs are scarce.
  • For most of the JOLTS series, the number of quits has exceeded the number of layoffs and discharges.
  • During the latest recession, this relationship changed as layoffs and discharges outnumbered quits from November 2008 through
  • January 2010. The rise in layoffs and discharges in May and June 2010 is due to layoffs of temporary Census 2010 workers as they completed their work.
  • In December, there were 2.0 million quits, still well below the 2.9 million quits in December 2007, the first month of the recession.
  • Unlike quits, layoffs and discharges have returned to pre-recession levels. The 1,838,000 layoffs and discharges in December were slightly more than the 1,835,000 layoffs and discharges in December 2007 when the recession began.

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Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:38 | 942888 Ancona
Ancona's picture

You've 'gotta love that recovery!


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:45 | 942910 Northeaster
Northeaster's picture

BDI up +19, I can feel it coming!

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:45 | 942915 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

You mean this recovery?

Just in time for record WHORE STREET BONUSES.


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:51 | 942927 Ancona
Ancona's picture

Wall Street loads up and the people starve. It's almost like this was planned.........

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:51 | 942930 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I blinked and missed it...





Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:42 | 942904 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Dang TD beat me again!...I'm too slow

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 16:14 | 943916 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Yeah, that sucker looks like it's on a collision course for 1400.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:44 | 942908 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

According to the Davos propaganda machine, there are more jobs than ever...

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:56 | 942948 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture



In the Bolivian silver mines...


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:09 | 942991 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Break thru $30 now.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:46 | 942914 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture
Continental files 500 layoff notices in Houston

CHANGE (jobs)!

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:47 | 942921 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

Oh, so that's how you make "profit!" As long as you get your bonus... who cares about the "little people"? Camden NJ/Silver spot. Enjoy.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:46 | 942916 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture











Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:47 | 942919 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

PS: SILVER 29.94$


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:48 | 942924 km4
km4's picture

The Youth Unemployment Bomb  

From Cairo to London to Brooklyn, too many young people are jobless and disaffected.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:55 | 942941 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I'm not saying it isn't true, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF SLACKERS ALSO!!!





Lazy motherfucker....

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 13:48 | 943351 Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

Sudden D,

That baby won't have a factory job at age 16, nor will the United States and Western Europe have a manufacturing base.

That fucker will be cleaning grills at Burger King, waiting tables at Chili's or changing oil at Greasemonkey.

Savor your labor because this is the best its gonna get!

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:56 | 942951 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Young'uns do rebel. Y'all should focus on them. Oh wait. If they were not corrupted by state educations, you might have had a chance.

Y'all should have supported ending the Dept. of Ed. Too late now.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:51 | 942931 somethingelse
somethingelse's picture

Can anyone offer their opinion on what the Baltic Dry Index being up 19 points today to 1064 means? 


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:57 | 942952 Northeaster
Northeaster's picture

Didn't you read the first post by Ancona?


It's means "Recovery!"

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:05 | 942980 somethingelse
somethingelse's picture

sarc or no?   i'm relatively new to ZH and apologize if i miss the nuances.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:13 | 943008 Northeaster
Northeaster's picture



ZH has their own perspective, it's up to you to decide the validity of that point of view

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:19 | 943034 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

Yes that was sarcastic. A 19 point daily move in the BDI, IMHO, would be mostly noise. You have to look at the broader trend and also the absolute level. Doubtful that 1000 or so is a profitable level for the shippers, reflecting a glut of ships ordered in the boom times. And also the BDI has fallen precipitously over the last few months. Perhaps reflecting weaker raw material demand lately, but that's the part the bulls will debate (they might say the index is irrelevant as a measure of shipping demand because shipping supply issues have overwhelmed matters).

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:28 | 943056 somethingelse
somethingelse's picture

thanks northeaster and traderjoe.

i am of a mind that it most likely was an upward blip in a generally downward trend also; but was curious what more knowledgably folks thought. 

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:52 | 942934 philgramm
philgramm's picture

3.1 million?  Dude, does Wal-Mart need that many fuckin' greeters?

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:59 | 942956 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture



I'm in marketing... believe me, I really think this would improve their sales numbers and keep client loyalty near 100%.


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:00 | 942962 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Rookie. No one would make it past the door.

You need topless cashiers.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:09 | 942989 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

No no, only the pimps handle the money.


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:12 | 942996 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

I pity the bitch who tries to short the till. Electronic monitoring is the new pimp.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 13:37 | 943301 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I've seen 4 people tackle a woman leaving who had stolen two, $15 sweatshirts...  walmart spends more money on security than people are capable of reasonably stealing...  if your per item cost is ~$5 and people can only stuff $20 worth of shit under their shirts, then who cares about theft?  I mean, if someone really took walmart to the cleaners, what would it cost, $100? 

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 16:39 | 943987 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

They're very insecure about their "shrinkage".

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:04 | 942946 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Professional services has taken a huge hit, in addition to the segments that were already in the toilet.

The trend of unemployment and joblessness, structurally speaking, should be a big, big warning to anyone who thinks that a double-dipper (which the U.K. is on the verge of) is not only very possible, but likely, here in the U.S.

That Bernanke may find himself presiding over inflation (especially in the those pesky things everyone needs to consumer each day in order to live) at a time of another big downtrend in employment statistics is going to potentially cause the kind of true friction between the Federal Reserve and politicians who want to keep their seats (in 2012) that we last saw in 1980.

Maybe the average dumbass will actually learn the basics about what The Federal Reserve is, who Ben Bernanke is, and how his taxation without representation on their asses (through a myriad of ways, but principally through QE & Ben's Maiden Lane & Maiden Lane-seque sludge funds) is affecting their price of gasoline, utilities, health care, food and much else...


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:56 | 942955 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Three meelion jobs!


moo ah ah ah!

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:01 | 942963 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture



= 3.100.000

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:03 | 942972 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Price of hookers is dropping. That proves deflation, right?

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:09 | 942990 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

That ain't the only thing dropping. lulz

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:13 | 943010 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Supply and demand, Baby.

It is a buyer's market.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:13 | 943004 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

it depends.

The common logic for hooker hourly rates = distance that their tits hang from the ground.

So: The more their tits are hanging near the floor => the cheaper they are.



Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:17 | 943024 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

In my pricing, age is determinant, no doubt. Younger makes more money if they are not terribly stupid.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:24 | 943049 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

1 word: BOTOX!


money if they are not terribly stupid.

I like it when they are naieve and stupid.... and blond... AND WITH BIG TITS AND A NUTCRACKER ASS!! WHOOEEHHAAAAAA

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:40 | 943121 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

East European hookers try harder, no doubt.

Hell, I might even sponsor a Ukrainian babe. She can live at my house. I'm a giver.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:34 | 943093 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

To play safely catch the young girls who are just starting to work at the strip clubs. Be nice, buy them a few drinks, and try to be their first customer. Some you have to work a while. Dont be pushy! Of course being happily married the wife makes me stop at the lap dance. Pity youth is wasted on the young.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:42 | 943124 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

What she doesn't know means you don't have to kill her and dump her body in a ditch.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 11:59 | 942958 Sancho Ponzi
Sancho Ponzi's picture

BTFS (blame the frickin' snow)

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:03 | 942967 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:06 | 942982 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

High heat, humidity and sunburn can have as devasting affect on employment, retail and GDP as can cold, ice, snow and frostbite.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 17:22 | 944170 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Don't forget, mild weather can also mute enthusiasm. 

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:06 | 942975 Rule of 72
Rule of 72's picture

Great news for new month's propaganda unemployment report.  Knock some more jobs off the denominator because poor shlubs will quit looking and lower the rate.  Recovery!

This way, Obeyme will have unemployment under 5% when there are only 50 million people left in the labor market.  Hope and change!

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:20 | 943026 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

This way, Obeyme will have unemployment under 5% when there are only 50 million people left in the labor market.  Hope and change!

And those would all be in law inforcement! JUDGE DREDD STYLE BITCHEZ



Judge Dredd: Emotions... there ought to be a law against them.



ps: Be kind and peaceful to each other. Eat recycled food. It's good for the environment and okay for you.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:22 | 943042 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Fuck Recycled food.

And I'm not paying the fine.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:30 | 943063 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Clearly good news!

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:54 | 943170 nobusiness
nobusiness's picture

My neighbor is a Union pipe fitter in NY/NJ.  His company has no work until at least mid March.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 12:54 | 943172 ak_khanna
ak_khanna's picture

The developed countries cannot create jobs in their own country as the major multinatio­­­­­nal companies have permanentl­­­­­y shipped the manufactur­­­­­ing and service jobs to the low cost developing countries to maximize their own profits.Th­­e rich corporatio­­ns and the too big to fail bunch of banksters have a lot of influence on the political class, the rule makers and the rule enforcers due to their enormous purchasing power. So irrespecti­­­­­­­ve of the position in the government­­­­­­­, everyone works for their benefit.

The rest of the population is least of their concerns. The only activity they do is pacify the majority of the population using false statistics and promises of a better future so that they do not lynch them and their masters while they are robbing the taxpayers.


Tue, 02/08/2011 - 13:27 | 943267 Lndmvr
Lndmvr's picture

My inspection workload is up big. Mostly farm reports. When I look at the workforce listings cause I hate my job, I see listings I applied to come up again and again. Just cause jobs are listed doesn't mean they really want to hire.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 14:09 | 943431 gookempucky
gookempucky's picture

Same here- some jobs posted for over a year-kwazy as quackers

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 17:27 | 944187 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Ergo why JOLTS doesn't really tell you anything.

The only number that really matters.

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