Tuesday, May 08, 2012

March Job Openings and Quits Highest Since 2008, Manufacturing Job Openings Highest Since 2007

Highlights from today's Job Openings and Labor Turnover report from the BLS:

1. There were 3.74 million job openings on the last business day of March, up from 3.565 million in February. The number of job openings has trended upward since the end of the recession in June 2009 (see top chart above).

2. The overall number of seasonally adjusted job openings in March increased over the year by 17.2% and for total private openings by 17.3%.  Openings for government jobs fell by 12.8% over the year.

3. Private job openings in March were at their highest levels in almost four years, since May 2008, and total March job openings were the highest since July 2008. 

4. For manufacturing, there were 326,000 job openings in March, which was the highest level since the pre-recessionary period in the fall of 2007 (see middle chart above).  The increase of 55,000 manufacturing job openings in March was the largest monthly increase in more than six years, going back to November 2005. 

5. In another sign that the labor market is slowly recovering, the number of private workers voluntarily quitting their jobs has been steadily increasing (see bottom chart above). In March, more than 2 million Americans working in the private sector quit their jobs, which was the highest number of monthly quits since October 2008, more than three years ago.


At 5/08/2012 10:01 AM, Blogger bart said...

Monster Employment index peaked at 151 last October and is currently at 146 - YoY change rate = .7%, down from 11% last October.

Online help wanted ads YoY change rate down to about 7% from over 20% a year ago.

NFIB hiring plans are also down YoY, and down trending.

At 5/08/2012 10:01 AM, Blogger bart said...

All the above are April numbers, where JOLT is March.

At 5/08/2012 10:12 AM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

"In another sign that the labor market is slowly recovering+ Dr. Perry.

No doubt our blog hots is right about this.

But the word is "slowly."

Man, oh man, there is no reasons for this suffering, this loss of trillions of dollars of output and profits, and lost wages etc.

The Fed says it cannot ramp things up as we might have inflation. Yet Dr. Perry correctly shows charts with inflation at all-time lows.

My guess is that when Romney wins, the Fed will hit the gas.

At 5/08/2012 11:08 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


hit the gas?

it's already floored and all we are doing is digging deeper into the mud.

money supply growth is 15%.

the fed has bought trillions in debt.

rates are zero.

all this has led to a feeble (if even extant) recovery.

at what point are you going to finally realize that what you think is the gas is really the brake?

i'm not even going to start in with you on inflation, as it's clear you cannot or will not understand what the word even means, much less how to measure it.

you cannot print jobs or prosperity, only bubbles.

the fed is holding us back, not holding us up.

At 5/08/2012 11:44 AM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


Try reading Scott Sumner's excellent Money Illusion blog steadily for many months. You may disagree, but try to understand it.

Or try reading Milton Friedman's study regarding Japan:


You realize Japan has tried tight money for 20 years, and it is an epic failure. Japan has had mild deflation since 1992 or so.

Do you know from 1985 to present, US industrial production doubled?! And we had moderate inflation for the bulk of that period. Only lately have we sunk into mid deflation or very low inflation.

The popular right-wing misunderstanding of monetary policy is a menace to our prosperity.

At 5/08/2012 12:05 PM, Blogger bart said...

The popular left-wing or uneducated or vested interest misunderstanding of monetary policy is a menace to our prosperity.

At 5/08/2012 12:06 PM, Blogger bart said...

M1, M2, M3 growth rates:


At 5/08/2012 12:28 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


we've been over this a dozen times and i have already ripped gaping holes in scott's thinking for you.

you never ever answer the key question:

how can you possibly call this monetary stance tight? there has NEVER been looser money in us history.

you need to go to weiman or zimbabwe to find looser money than this.

so what's your standard? lay it out. how on earth could this be called tight?

then you duck the other question, the one that always ends your participation in a thread:

was their high inflation in the 70's?

because prices now are moving just like they did then. the method of calculating CPI changed so what was then called 8% is now called 3%, but underlying prices are moving the same way.

to believe there is low inflation now, you must also believe that that was true in 1976. there is no consistent way to call inflation then high and now low. so which is it?

was there no inflation during the days of disco?

have you bothered to actually read the boskin report yet and seen what utter tripe it is and noticed that it contains not a shred of empirical evidence to support its claims?

At 5/08/2012 1:04 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


Milton Friedman noted that low interest rates are a sign of tight money or markets that expect tight money. Ergo, the BoJ has had low interest rates for generations, and deflation.

The view you espouse cannot fathom such an outcome. How does the BoJ keep interest rates nearly at zero, and yet obtain mild deflation?

Dr. Perry recently ran a Cleveland Fed chart, showing 1.4 percent inflation expected by markets for the next 10 years.

Money now is not "easy." If it were easy, we would see some signs of inflation. Instead, we are seeing record low inflation.

Real estate should inflate if people anticipate inflation. Real estate is deflating. So, we have the possibility of strong inflation, except no one wants to pay even bottom dollar for real estate?

Remember, if we have real solid inflation, paying off that mortgage is easy, and your equity in the real estate balloons. There should be a a property boom right now, if there were much hope for inflation.

Anyway, let's keep the conversation civil, and agree to disagree. Let's stop the name-calling.

This forum is turning into a toilet with ad hominem attacks. Is this the level of conversation that right-wingers want---puerile name-calling and insults?

At 5/08/2012 1:10 PM, Blogger bart said...


At 5/08/2012 1:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


"Milton Friedman noted that low interest rates are a sign of tight money or markets that expect tight money. Ergo, the BoJ has had low interest rates for generations, and deflation"

and you are completely misunderstanding what he said.

that's not at all what he meant. you are engaging in cargo cult thinking.

if market derived interest rates are a sign of X, that does not mean that artificially manipulated ones due to CB intervention are the same thing. the rates are not a sign of anything not manipulation.

no wonder you are so confused.

there are rampant signs of inflation. the bls just chooses to define them out of existence. look at the import and export price figures. they are up double digits. that's what prices really look like before the boskin shenanigans.

i note you once more duck the question of the 70's.

was their high inflation in the 70's?

it's a simple question. why are you unable/unwilling to answer it?

At 5/08/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

that should read "but manipulation" not "not".

At 5/08/2012 1:20 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

further, you also failed to explain how you define this as tight.

money is being printed at twice the rate of nominal growth. how can that be "tight"?

home prices are not low as faced by consumers. housing is more expesive.

average home equity has dropped from 45% to 7% while down payment requirements have soared.

to make a 20% down payment with 7% equity requires a lot of cash in. the reason that top line housing prices cannot rally is that the cash in price to do a transaction for any but a first time buyer has soared from zero to 13% of purchase price (assuming a house of the same value).

we mostly buy houses using the currency of our old house. adjusted for that, there is nothing cheap about housing. why else do you think that the huge drop in list prices has not created an increase in sales volume? has the law of supply and demand been put into abeyance? no. you are just looking at the wrong price.

At 5/08/2012 1:24 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


I guess we just disagree,

I do not believe the BLS cooks its numbers---indeed, Don Boudreaux, ex-chair of Econ Dep't at George Mason, says the BLS CPI numbers are too high. So there are different points of view.

Dr. Perry has also run the MIT numbers. You are right, it is a limited survey--but certainly no hint of inflation there,

No index is perfect, nor can any index, capture exactly the living costs you anecdotally face.

If you live in Los Angeles, housing is cheaper today than five years ago, and the profusion of 99 cent stores means many products are cheaper. I just bought a dozen large eggs for 99 cents. Ralph Kramden, of Honeymooners fame, complained about 79 cent eggs--in 1952!

An older person, already ensconced in a home and facing rising medical bills, might face higher than average inflation. A younger couple, buying a first-home home, and driving a fuel efficient car, is enjoying outright deflation. I don't think it ever has been so affordable to buy a home almost anywhere in the Midwest.

I am familiar with your arguments regarding the imperfections of the BLS CPI survey. But the BLS also knows about your concerns.

Okay, so let's focus on the issues, and avoid silly name-caling.

At 5/08/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


japan is not a good comparison for the us. they have a shrinking population and an even more rapidly diminishing workforce as their average age soars and no one is there to replace them.

it's a demographic collapse.

there is no monetary fix for that.

in a generation, their 1.3 birth rate will cause their population to fall by nearly 40%. it's a population collapse with no parallel to which i am aware outside of major wars.

further, as i have shown you about a zillion times, there is no link between japanese monetary stimulus and growth rates.

the numbers don't lie.


try actually reading this.

friedman has a theory on japan. he was wrong. the data is very clear on that. friedman was a great economist, but was also a monetarist and tending to view everyhting through that lens. as a result, he's been wrong about a great many things, especially with regard to monetary stimulus, which simply does not work.

the us has a growing population and a growing workforce. it's nothing like japan.

At 5/08/2012 1:38 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


you are still ducking the point and trying to use appeal to authority to hide your inability to speak to the actual issue. gross at pimco, enihorn at greenlight, and volcker all say inflation is vastly understated. i'd take them over any academic. they actually have to be right to make a living.

but it really does not matter. there is a clear and simple fact that cannot be argued or denied: the bls changed the way it measures inflation and the new way reads much lower. that is not the tiniest bit in dispute.

it does not matter to this question which way is correct, only that they differ and the new way reads much lower.

using the old way, inflation is 8-9%. using the new way on 1976, inflation then was about 3%.

so my question is simple: if you believe the new way is the right way, then you must believe that there was 3% inflation in 1976.

the fact that you are not willing to say so belies inconsistent views. you cannot think inflation was high then but low now. that is literally the equivalent to believing that you are 30 pounds lighted because you set your scale back.

what name calling? you keep acting as though i am arguing through ad hominem, but i'm not. you seem to be making that up.

i am trying to focus on the issues, but you will not address them. you simply make appeals to authority, refuse to answer questions, and toss out single datapoints to try to stand for a whole.

i'd love to address the issues and am trying to do so. how about you do the same?

At 5/08/2012 1:39 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Milton Friedman noted that low interest rates are a sign of tight money or markets that expect tight money. Ergo, the BoJ has had low interest rates for generations, and deflation"...

Is that the Milton Friedman that has the cell next to your's at the nuthouse pseudo benny?

At 5/08/2012 1:41 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

and again on housing, homes in LA are not cheaper.

the topline price might be. the mortgae payment might be. but the amount of money the average buyer has to come up with to make a downpayment is up massively.

that's the price that's holding the market back.

rents are way up all over the country and double digits in many cities yoy.

sales of homes remain very low.

you never answered the question: how can that be if prices are so low? low prices increase quantity demanded. a 30-40% drop in home prices has not created additional demand. virtually no good is that price inelastic. the only logical answer is that you are looking at the wrong price.

At 5/08/2012 2:15 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


benji has a valid point about the ad hominem etc.

this board is getting as bit nasty lately.

i think we really ought to try to rein that in.

we all get frustrated and sometimes and it can be tempting, but we should try to do better.

we all get more out of this as an econ and public policy discussion than a name calling contest.

At 5/08/2012 2:17 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

this board is getting as bit nasty lately.

I blame the full moon. Seriously.

At 5/08/2012 3:24 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"this board is getting as bit nasty lately."...

Yes it has morganovich, its stress from repetitive stupidity syndrome where one has to plow through a collection of inane comments having little to do with reality and less to do with economics before one finds something worth reading...

Some folks here think that by repeating a lie often enough it will through the magic of delusion morph itself into some sort of fact...

There are only so many ways one can pose a stupid question or concept that has first been treated seriously, then politely debunked, and finally mocked...

Then these same people restart the cycle again as if the previous dozen times they tried it didn't educate them in the least...

Maybe you can explain what's wrong with these particular individuals...

At 5/08/2012 3:43 PM, Blogger bart said...

Some folks here like juandos think that by repeating a lie often enough it will through the magic of delusion morph itself into some sort of fact...

Some folks here like juandos think that by repeating a lie often enough it will through the magic of delusion morph itself into some sort of fact...

Some folks here like juandos think that by repeating a lie often enough it will through the magic of delusion morph itself into some sort of fact...

Can't you just give it a rest?

At 5/08/2012 5:32 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


I appreciate your efforts to bring this board back to issues, and away from name-calling.

You are a smart guy. I sometimes disagree with you.

Big deal. Let's just stick to the issues.

At 5/12/2012 6:23 PM, Blogger bart said...

JOLT net hires actually down last month:


Total gov't job openings up substantially for the past year:


Unemployed per job opening still at ercord levels pre-crisis:



Post a Comment

<< Home