What is it?
The number of job openings and the job openings rate come from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics each month. The number of job openings (JOPL) is seasonally adjusted, expressed in thousands, and represents the total number of unfilled job openings that exist during the month. The job openings rate (JOPR) is a percentage calculated using the following formula:
JOPR = (# of job openings / (# of employees + # of openings)) *100
In SONAR, the job openings data is tracked at the following granularities:
CONS - construction
TPWH - transportation and warehousing
NFRM - total nonfarm
MFTG - manufacturing
Who is interested?
Economists, employers, analysts
What does it tell me?
The number of job openings and the openings rate provide another measure of the strength of the labor market. A high openings rates suggests that employers are looking for workers but are having difficulty finding them. For example, in 2018 the job openings rate in transportation and warehousing surged, suggesting that there was a real shortage of workers in the industry.