According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover report (JOLTS), released earlier this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the West's increase in new hires of 6.1 percent percent was larger than the nation overall which showed a smaller increase of 1.5 percent, when compared year over year. During the same period, layoffs fell 5.8 percent in the nation overall, compared to the West's increase of 5.5 percent.
The first graph shows the year-over-year change in new hires and in layoffs in the U.S. West region. There is no solid trend in either layoffs or new hires.
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 separations (the purple bar) then a positive net number of jobs have been added to the economy. November 2012 was the tenth month in a row in which new hires have been larger than separations in the West region. Overall, 2012 has been somewhat similar to 2011 in the relationship between separations and hires. There were 58,000 more hires than separations during November 2012, compared to 67,000 during November 2011.
In this metric, 2012 is similar to 2011 for the West region, and does not show sizable growth in employment since the previous year.
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