Job openings rose to 3 million in July 2010, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released in September. This figure—while significantly higher than the series trough of 2.3 million openings in July 2009—is still well below the 4.4 million job openings reported at the beginning of the recession in late 2007, said the report. Meanwhile, the hires rate and separations rate (including quits, layoffs, discharges, and other separations) remained unchanged in July from the previous month at 3.3 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
The survey, which produces monthly estimates for job opening, hires, quits, and layoffs, is not as widely reported as other labor market indicators such as the employment rate. However, the JOLTS data provide important insight into the balance of supply and demand in the labor market. To learn more about the survey and what it says about the southeastern economy in particular, see "Employment Survey Delivers JOLTS," featured in the first-quarter 2010 issue of EconSouth.