Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released August 2015 figures from its Job Openings & Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), which tracks job openings, hires, and separations (quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations including retirement).

The seasonally adjusted ratio of unemployed persons per job opening – an indication of labor market activity and competitiveness – remained steady at 1.3 candidates per job opening in the Midwest in August. This is down from a ratio of 1.8 a year ago and maintains the lowest ratio in more than a decade. The U.S. ratio also remains unchanged at 1.5 in August.

Midwest hiring activity increased by 4 percent year-over-year – slightly lower than the nation’s growth of 6 percent over the same time period – to reach 1.09 million new hires in August 2015.

The quit rate, which reflects the share of employees who left voluntarily (except retirements or transfers), is highly correlated with wage growth. Employees tend to quit and switch jobs at a higher rate during periods of economic growth. The Midwest’s August quit rate of 1.8 was slightly lower than July’s rate of 1.9 and unchanged from a year ago.

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This data reflects the most recent BLS revisions. The full press release and data can be found on the BLS website.

Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago is the public-private partnership leading the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs in order to drive business development, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy.

WBC’s “Economic Briefs” track indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including unemployment, population, venture capital, job openings and new hires, home sales, tourism, etc. This data provides a clear analytic framework for specific Plan strategies and initiatives. For a summary of these and other economic indicators, refer to WBC’s monthly Chicago By The Numbers.


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