The May JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) Report shows a strong return to work during the COVID-19 crisis, but still a high number of people looking for jobs that no longer exist. The report shows mass layoffs ended, and re-hiring started.
The JOLTS report is always a month behind on its reporting since it is a complete report on unemployment for a full month. The June JOLTS report will not be released until early August. Federal Reserve policymakers often cite the JOLTS report in its decision-making.
In May, the number of hires reached a record-high for the JOLTS report, with 6.5 million people returning to work. During May, many states reopened their economies, and hiring surged. Separations also posted the largest drop ever, as fewer people voluntarily left their current positions.
Still, total job openings for May ended at 5.4 million. With 21 million people filing unemployment claims, it results in an average of four unemployed people for every one open position.
Hiring in May surged in a number of categories, with the construction industry adding 427,000 jobs in May alone. Other industries with significant job increases in May include food services and health care.
Voluntary separations, or “quits”, is is the number of people voluntarily leaving their jobs. In May, the number was 2.1 million, up from April. Quits is an indication that workers feel comfortable with the job market and opportunities outside of their current job.