Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report

Here's the two reasonably readable graphs from this morning's JOLT (Job Openings and Labor Turnover) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Looks like there has been a moderately strong trend at work in the job openings picture for the past 3 years.

As has been typical in the BLS formal reports like this, the time span is too short to be able to place recent behavior in context and the number of factors shown in visual form is far too few to fully grasp what is going on in the world of employment.

In the full monthly report itself which runs to 15 pages, there are numerous tables with literally hundreds of important factors. Unfortunately, these covering an even shorter two year time period with even fewer sample trend sample points per factor. This again matches the current BLS standard not-particularly-reader-friendly approach for their "printed" reports.

In my view, this standard BLS approach is far from the best way to present important trend data. All the time consuming work of searching for and extracting meaning is left to reader (which means in most cases it will never happen) or it is left to the expert pundits who will typically comment on a few of the sub factors that they find most interesting and perhaps present one or two charts.

Of course, back at the BLS web site, just about all the trend data for all the factors for all the time periods is available for those who have the time and skill to track it down.

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