Update – A Sluggish but Improving Labor Market

Welcome to the Cooley-Rupert Economic Snapshot – our view of the current economic environment.

This post contains updates from the latest data release of JOLTS, The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.  Updates about the employment situation released last Friday can be found here. Updates about GDP and its components based on preliminary estimates of third quarter activity from the BEA can be found here. The most up-to-date analysis concerning GDP, the labor market, the credit market, and other economic indicators are available here in one pdf document.

As always we welcome any suggestions for additional data that you would like to see and suggestions for how to improve the presentation of the data.


This is the latest version of our snapshot of the U.S. Economy based on the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As in previous snapshots we present the data in a way that we find particularly useful for assessing where we are in the business cycle and tracking the U.S. economic recovery. The paths of all the series presented are plotted relative to the their value at the peak of the respective business cycles. We use the business cycle dates identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The Labor Market – Nice Revisions and More Vacancies!

JOLTS data shows more refined features of the labor market and permit comparison to the 2001 business cycle. The JOLTS data confirms what last Fridays jobs report showed – modest improvement in the labor market. There has been an increase in vacancies, and an increase in quits. Both of these suggest that the labor market is beginning to show more flexibility than in the last several months. In fact while the level of openings and quits are still well below their value from December 2007, the start of the cycle, they closely track the trend from the 2001 cycle.  The changes are modest but encouraging.  Below are graphs showing JOLTS data and data updated from Friday’s Employment Situation.

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