Thursday, September 13, 2012

Layoffs down in U.S. West during July, but net hiring down this year from 2011

The number of new hires in the U.S. West, which includes Colorado, rose 1.5 percent year over year from July 2011 to July 2012. Layoffs fell 3.3 percent during the same period.

According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report (JOLTS), released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the West reported a decrease in new hires, but the nation overall showed a 2.7 percent increase in new hires, when compared year over year. During the same period, layoffs fell 3.3 percent in the nation overall. 

In the West region, with a decline of 3.3 percent, the year-over-year change in the layoffs was small compared to what was common during 2010 and early 2011.  The year-over-year increase of 1.5 percent in new hires was one of the smaller increases experienced over the past 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. July 2012 was the sixth month in a row during which new hires have exceeded separations in the West region, which makes this year comparable to last year.

For the West region during July 2012, there were 40,000 more hires in the region than separations.

Quits and layoffs and separations are slightly higher this year than last year,but so are new hires. Net hiring (new hires minus layoffs) is down slightly this year compared to last year, so we're seeing moderation in new job creation by this measure. This regional data fits with Colorado employment data which continues to show job growth, but at a very moderate pace which does not point toward sufficient job creation to match employment needs.

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