Office of Survey Methods Research

Abstract

John Wohlford, Mary Anne Phillips, Richard Clayton, and George Werking (2003) "Reconciling Labor Turnover and Employment Statistics."

The Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, with 350,000 sample units is the Bureau's largest monthly sample survey. The CES survey collects information on employment, hours worked, and earnings from the payroll records of employers.; The CES produces data at the national, State, and major metropolitan area levels. The payroll statistics from the CES program are among the earliest economic indicators available each month and measure the health of the U.S. economy in terms of job creation, average earnings, and average workweek. These data serve as direct input into other major U.S. economic indicators including the Index of Leading Economic Indicators, the Index of Coincident Economic Indicators, the Personal Income estimates, the Industrial Production Index, and productivity measures.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), with a sample size of 16,000 units, is the Bureau's newest monthly sample survey, and will become an important monthly economic indicator. JOLTS provides monthly national measures of job openings (labor demand) by broad industry groups; these measures compliment the unemployment data, which measure labor supply. JOLTS began publishing data in July 2002; data published include levels and rates for job openings, hires, and total separations, as well as three subtypes of separations: quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. These data also are provided for four regions. Thus policy makers and analysts will have a better understanding of the imbalances between the demand for and the supply of labor, and improved tools for assessing the presence of labor shortages in the U.S. labor market. These data also provide evidence of pressure on wage rates.

Last Modified Date: July 19, 2008

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