BLS Information

Modification to August/September 2011 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) Estimates to Account for a Strike in the Telecommunications Industry


The preliminary JOLTS estimates for August (released on October 12, 2011) did not reflect a necessary adjustment to account for a strike in the telecommunications industry—a part of the information sector. The final estimates for August, as well as the preliminary estimates for September (released on November 8, 2011) reflect the adjustment.

Each month, JOLTS estimates are aligned to the over-the-month change in employment as measured by the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. In the alignment process, the JOLTS implied employment change (hires minus separations) is compared to the CES over-the-month change. If JOLTS is higher than CES, hires are removed and separations are added to the JOLTS data to bring them into alignment with CES. If JOLTS is lower than CES, hires are added and separations are removed. Once the hires and separations are consistent with CES, the seasonal adjustment is backed out by applying the seasonal factors in reverse, to arrive at an unadjusted JOLTS series.

The alignment process ensures that over the long term, JOLTS hires and separations are consistent with changes in employment levels as measured by the CES. However, JOLTS measures the forming and breaking of employment relationships through hires and separations. As such, JOLTS does not consider employees who are on strike to be separated, and JOLTS does not count employees returning to work after a strike to be hires. This means that a strike should not show up in the JOLTS series. However, striking workers are not counted as employed in the CES. The drop in CES information employment in August caused by a telecommunications strike created a divergence with the JOLTS series. The alignment process then adjusted the JOLTS hires and separations to reflect this employment drop and eliminate the divergence. Hires, job openings, and separations were unnecessarily added and removed to account for workers going out on strike in August.

With the release of September preliminary estimates, CES employment levels used in the alignment process have been modified. Striking telecommunications workers were added back into the August CES employment level used in alignment. This eliminated the large adjustments that had been introduced by the alignment process. For future JOLTS estimation, the process will be modified to include a procedure that can be used whenever there is a large movement in the CES that should not be reflected in JOLTS.

JOLTS releases estimates for each month twice. The first release of a given month is considered "preliminary" and the second month is considered "final." JOLTS estimates usually change between the first and second release, due to the collection of additional data and to updated concurrent seasonal adjustment factors. The modifications to the alignment process were introduced simultaneously with the regular revisions of the August estimates from "preliminary" to "final." Therefore, it is not possible to accurately quantify how much of the change from the preliminary estimates to final estimates is due to the adjustment in the alignment process. While many of the August estimates changed from the first release to the second release, only a subset of these estimates are impacted by the adjustment to the Information sector. A list of the series codes impacted by this adjustment appears below. For additional information about this change, please contact the JOLTS information line at (202) 691-5870.


Seasonally Adjusted
Series Name Area Series ID

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

Total U.S. JTS00000000JOL

Total Private, Job Openings

Total U.S. JTS10000000JOL

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

Northeast JTS000000NEJOL

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

South JTS000000SOJOL

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

Midwest JTS000000MWJOL

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

West JTS000000WEJOL

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

Northeast JTS000000NEJOR

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

South JTS000000SOJOR

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

Midwest JTS000000MWJOR

Total Nonfarm, Hires

Total U.S. JTS00000000HIL

Total Private, Hires

Total U.S. JTS10000000HIL

Total Nonfarm, Hires

Northeast JTS000000NEHIL

Total Nonfarm, Hires

South JTS000000SOHIL

Total Nonfarm, Hires

Midwest JTS000000MWHIL

Total Nonfarm, Hires

West JTS000000WEHIL

Total Private, Hires

Total U.S. JTS10000000HIR

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

Total U.S. JTS00000000TSL

Total Private, Total Separations

Total US JTS10000000TSL

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

Northeast JTS000000NETSL

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

South JTS000000SOTSL

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

Midwest JTS000000MWTSL

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

West JTS000000WETSL

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

Midwest JTS000000MWTSR

Total Nonfarm, Quits

Total U.S. JTS00000000QUL

Total Private, Quits

Total U.S. JTS10000000QUL

Total Nonfarm, Quits

Northeast JTS000000NEQUL

Total Nonfarm, Quits

South JTS000000SOQUL

Total Nonfarm, Quits

Midwest JTS000000MWQUL

Total Nonfarm, Quits

West JTS000000WEQUL

Total Nonfarm, Quits

Northeast JTS000000NEQUR

Total Nonfarm, Quits

West JTS000000WEQUR

Total Nonfarm, Layoffs and Discharges

Total U.S. JTS00000000LDL

Total Private, Layoffs and Discharges

Total U.S. JTS10000000LDL

Total Private, Layoffs and Discharges

Total U.S. JTS10000000LDR
Not Seasonally Adjusted
Series Name Area Series ID

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

Total U.S. JTU00000000JOL

Total Private, Job Openings

Total U.S. JTU10000000JOL

Information, Job Openings

Total U.S. JTU51000000JOL

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

Northeast JTU000000NEJOL

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

South JTU000000SOJOL

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

Midwest JTU000000MWJOL

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

West JTU000000WEJOL

Information, Job Openings

Total U.S. JTU51000000JOR

Total Nonfarm, Job Openings

Midwest JTU000000MWJOR

Total Nonfarm, Hires

Total U.S. JTU00000000HIL

Total Private, Hires

Total U.S. JTU10000000HIL

Information, Hires

Total U.S. JTU51000000HIL

Total Nonfarm, Hires

Northeast JTU000000NEHIL

Total Nonfarm, Hires

South JTU000000SOHIL

Total Nonfarm, Hires

Midwest JTU000000MWHIL

Total Nonfarm, Hires

West JTU000000WEHIL

Total Nonfarm, Hires

Total U.S. JTU00000000HIR

Information, Hires

Total U.S. JTU51000000HIR

Total Nonfarm, Hires

West JTU000000WEHIR

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

Total U.S. JTU00000000TSL

Total Private, Total Separations

Total U.S. JTU10000000TSL

Information, Total Separations

Total U.S. JTU51000000TSL

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

Northeast JTU000000NETSL

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

South JTU000000SOTSL

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

Midwest JTU000000MWTSL

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

West JTU000000WETSL

Information, Total Separations

Total U.S. JTU51000000TSR

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

Midwest JTU000000MWTSR

Total Nonfarm, Total Separations

West JTU000000WETSR

Total Nonfarm, Quits

Total U.S. JTU00000000QUL

Total Private, Quits

Total U.S. JTU10000000QUL

Information, Quits

Total U.S. JTU51000000QUL

Total Nonfarm, Quits

Northeast JTU000000NEQUL

Total Nonfarm, Quits

South JTU000000SOQUL

Total Nonfarm, Quits

Midwest JTU000000MWQUL

Total Nonfarm, Quits

West JTU000000WEQUL

Information, Quits

Total U.S. JTU51000000QUR

Total Nonfarm, Layoffs and Discharges

Total U.S. JTU00000000LDL

Total Private, Layoffs and Discharges

Total U.S. JTU10000000LDL

Information, Layoffs and Discharges

Total U.S. JTU51000000LDL

Total Nonfarm, Layoffs and Discharges

Northeast JTU000000NELDL

Total Nonfarm, Layoffs and Discharges

South JTU000000SOLDL

Total Nonfarm, Layoffs and Discharges

Midwest JTU000000MWLDL

Total Nonfarm, Layoffs and Discharges

West JTU000000WELDL

Information, Layoffs and Discharges

Total U.S. JTU51000000LDR

Total Nonfarm, Other Separations

Total U.S. JTU00000000OSL

Total Private, Other Separations

Total U.S. JTU10000000OSL

Information, Other Separations

Total U.S. JTU51000000OSL

Total Nonfarm, Other Separations

Northeast JTU000000NEOSL

Total Nonfarm, Other Separations

South JTU000000SOOSL

Total Nonfarm, Other Separations

West JTU000000WEOSL

Last Modified Date: November 8, 2011

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