Online Program

Modifications to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
*Charlotte Devor Oslund, Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Keywords: job vacancies, job openings, hires, separations, turnover, labor statistics, labor dynamics, birth samples, economic trends

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) at the Bureau of Labor Statistics produces monthly estimates for job openings, hires, and separations. The estimates are published by industry, by region, and for the private sector and government. The goal of the JOLTS data is to measure current labor market dynamics as well as trends over time. The data series, with 10 years of data covering two recessions, exhibit clear trends and demonstrate economic concepts, including leading indicator properties for turns in the economy. During the past 10 years, the JOLTS program has graduated from a brand new program to an established program entering a period of evaluation and change. This paper will discuss improvements that have been implemented, including a birth/death model, a quality control process unique to the JOLTS hires and separations data, quarterly birth samples, a new data collection system, and new electronic modes of collection. This paper will also briefly discuss the development of estimates of openings, hires, and separations by size class, and a study currently underway to research possible new data items to collect from establishments.