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 5.06% since June, but remained 2.27% above the level seen in July 2012. Private non-farm job hires rose 2.40% from June, remaining 3.61% above the level seen in July 2012.
Job layoffs and discharges declined 5.19% from June, falling 3.85% below the level seen last year, while quitting activity increased 3.64% from June, remaining 5.16% above the level seen in July 2012. 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. However, their inclusion tends to create an overall procyclical trend in what would otherwise be logically thought of as a countercyclical process (i.e., downturn leads to an increase in separations, not a decrease).