On Tuesday (3-29-22), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) for February 2022. According to the JOLTS report, as of the last day in February, the number of job openings were at 11.3 million or a rate of 7.0%. These are only minor changes from the January report. Job openings declined in the Midwest, increased in the West, and were unchanged in the remaining two regions.
In February, the number of hires increased to 6.7 million, up 263,000 or a rate of 4.4%. The total number and rate of separations were little changed at 6.1 million (4.1%). The total number of quits was also little changed at 4.4 million (2.9%).
In February, the number and rate of layoffs and discharges were little changed at 1.4 million and 0.9%. Layoffs and discharges increased in retail trade (+20,000) and in information (+9,000) but decreased in finance and insurance (-19,000); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-16,000); and real estate and rental and leasing (-6,000). The number of layoffs and discharges were little changed in all four reporting regions.
Large numbers of hires and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle. Net employment change results from the relationship between hires and separations. When the number of hires exceeds the number of separations, employment rises, even if the hires level is steady or declining. Conversely, when the number of hires is less than the number of separations, employment declines, even if the hires level is steady or rising.
Over the 12 months ending in February 2022, hires totaled 77.0 million and separations totaled 70.6 million, yielding a net employment gain of 6.4 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.