Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released August 2016 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 – was at 1.3 candidates per job opening in the Midwest in August. The ratio is up slightly from the previous month (1.2 in July) and is the same as last year (also 1.3 in August 2015). The U.S. ratio was 1.4 in August, which is up slightly from 1.3 a month ago and down from 1.5 a year ago.

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The Midwest reported 1.17 million new hires in August 2016, a 7.0% percent increase year-over-year. Nationally, hiring activity increased by 3.0% percent in the same time period.

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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 2016 quit rate of 1.9 was slightly down from the previous month (2.0 in July), and unchanged from August 2015.

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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