Thursday, February 9, 2012

New hires in U.S. West up 7 percent in December 2011

The number of new hires in the U.S. West, which includes Colorado, rose 7.19 percent year over year from December 2010 to December 2011, as layoffs decreased 2.6 percent during the same period.

According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report, released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the West reported more growt hin new hires than the U.S. overall. The number of new hires in the U.S. rose 2.7 percent from December 2010 to December 2011. During the same period, layoffs fell 0.4 percent for the U.S.

In the West region, with a decline of 2.6 percent, the year-over-year change in the layoffs in December 2011 showed a very moderate decline compared to recent months, while the year-over-year increase of 7.1 percent in new hires was the largest year-over-year increase in hires reported since September 2011.

The first graph shows the year-over-year change in new hires and in layoffs in the U.S. West region. The overall trend is toward a gradual reversal of the large increases in layoffs and big declines in new hires that were seen during 2009.

In the second graph, we see the total number of new hires compared with the total number of separations, including quits, layoffs and other separations.

Note that when total hires (the blue line) are above total separations (the purple bar) then a positive net number of jobs have been added to the economy. December 2011 was the first time that the number of new hires has fallen significantly below the number of separations since December 2010.

For the West region during December 2011, there were 170,000 more separations than hires. This is similar to December 2010 during which there were 185,000 more separations than hires.

According to Colorado's jobs report for December 2011, December was a robust month for job growth, when compared year over year, although December tends to be a weak month for job growth. See here for more.