Friday, July 13, 2012

New hires in West up 10.9 percent, layoffs down

The number of new hires in the U.S. West, which includes Colorado, rose 10.9 percent year over year from May 2011 to May 2012, as layoffs fell 8.5 percent during the same period.

According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report (JOLTS), released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the West reported an increase in new hires, and the nation overall showed a 4.7 percent increase in new hires, when compared year over year. During the same period, layoffs also rose 1.9 percent in the nation overall. 

In the West region, with a decrease of 8.5 percent, the year-over-year change in the layoffs in May was the largest decrease since July 2011, while the year-over-year increase of 10.9 percent in new hires was a largest increase since September of last year.

The first graph shows the year-over-year change in new hires and in layoffs in the U.S. West region.

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. May 2012 was the fourth month in a row during which new hires have exceeded separations in the West region. This followed two month in which separations outnumbered new hires. So far, overall new hiring activity looks similar to 2010 and 2011. 

For the West region during May 2012, there were 146,000 more hires in the region than separations. This is significantly more than May 2011 when there were 50,000 more hires than separations.

This report indicates some solid growth in the West region during May with layoffs down and new hires up. However, data from the Household Survey during May did show some moderation in growth for Colorado specifically.

Note: The JOLTS employment data is tied to the Establishment Survey which does not cover small business hiring and self-employed persons.The BLS recent made some significant revisions to employment data at year-end 2011. This analysis reflects the new revised data.