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Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest monthly read of job availability and labor turnover (JOLT). It showed that private non-farm job openings declined 4.96% since November, but remained 2.16% above the level seen in December 2011. Private non-farm job hires declined a notable 4.77% from November, remaining just 0.67% above the level seen in December 2011.

Job layoffs and discharges declined 8.17% from November, falling 6.30% below the level seen last year. Quitting activity declined 0.64% from November, remaining 8.25% above the level seen in December 2011.

It's important to understand that job "quits" are included as a component of the separations data series, as quitting is a valid means of workers separating from employers. But their inclusion tends to create an overall pro-cyclical trend in what would otherwise be logically thought of as a counter-cyclical process (i.e., downturn leads to an increase in separations, not a decrease).






Source: Economic Jolt: Job Openings And Labor Turnover - December 2012