Jolts Research & Data

MacroVar analyzes Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) across industries and states to monitor the US labor dynamics. JOLTS data is available in MacroVar database via Excel, API or MacroVar website covering more than 40,000 economic & financial indicators of the world's largest economies.

Jolts Job openings versus US Unemployment Rate


Note: Rates are calculated as a percentage for Job Openings, Hires, Quits and Total separations of total employment.

What is JOLTS? Understanding the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) is a key economic indicator published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It provides crucial insights into the dynamics of the labor market by measuring job vacancies, hires, and separations (including quits, layoffs, and discharges). Introduced in 2000, JOLTS helps policymakers, economists, and businesses understand the health and trends of the labor market.

Components of JOLTS

Job Openings
  • Represents the number of positions available for which employers are actively recruiting from outside the establishment.
  • A high number of job openings indicates strong labor demand, suggesting economic growth and business expansion. Conversely, a low number of job openings may signal economic contraction or caution among employers.
  • The total number of additions to the payroll during the reporting period.
  • A high hire rate reflects a strong labor market where businesses are expanding their workforce, while a low hire rate may indicate economic stagnation or cautious hiring practices.
  • Includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations (like retirements or transfers)
  • Quits: Voluntary separations initiated by employees. A high quit rate generally signifies worker confidence in finding new employment and a healthy job market.
  • Layoffs and Discharges: Involuntary separations initiated by employers. A high rate in this category often signals economic distress or organizational restructuring.
  • Other Separations: Includes retirements, deaths, and transfers to other locations.

How JOLTS is Used

Economic Analysis and Policy Making
  • Labor Market Health: By analyzing JOLTS data, economists and policymakers can gauge the overall health of the labor market. High job openings coupled with high hires suggest a robust economy, while high layoffs and low job openings may indicate economic trouble.
  • Inflation and Wage Growth: A high number of job openings can lead to wage growth as employers compete for workers, influencing inflation. Central banks and government bodies use this data to inform monetary and fiscal policies.
Business Strategy
  • Recruitment and Retention: Companies use JOLTS data to benchmark their recruitment and retention strategies. High quit rates may prompt businesses to improve working conditions or compensation to retain talent.
  • Market Expansion: Understanding regional labor market trends helps businesses decide where to expand or contract their operations.
Job Seekers
  • Career Decisions: Job seekers can use JOLTS data to identify industries and regions with high job openings, helping them make informed career choices.
  • Negotiation Leverage: In industries with high demand for labor, workers may have more negotiating power regarding salaries and benefits.