Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New hires nearly flat, layoffs up in U.S. West during August

The number of new hires in the U.S. West, which includes Colorado, rose 0.3 percent year over year from August 2011 to August 2012. Layoffs rose 10.6 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 an increase in new hires, and the nation overall showed a larger increase of 4 percent in new hires, when compared year over year. During the same period, layoffs rose 3.9 percent in the nation overall, compared to the West's increase of 10.6 percent.

In the West region, the year-over-year increase of 10.6 percent in layoffs was still small compared to what was common during 2010 and early 2011.  The year-over-year increase of 0.3 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. August 2012 was the seventh month in a row during which new hires have exceeded separations in the West region, which makes this year comparable to last year so far.

For the West region during August 2012, there were 11,000 more hires in the region than separations, which is the same as August 2011.

The second graph shows that the current trend is similar to that of last year with similar patterns in net hiring over layoffs and separations. New hires are up from 2009 and 2010 levels, but the trend is largely flat form 2011 to 2012.

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