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Hirings and firings: the employment balancing act

The number of new jobs created is virtually identical to the number of new 'job separations' (including firings, layoffs, and resignations), leading to stagnant employment.

By Guest blogger / October 11, 2010

This graph of employment over the last 3.5 years shows unemployment (pink area, right y-axis), new job creations (green area), new hires (red line), and 'job separations' (blue line). The yellow dot shows that the number of new hires and new separations are virtually equal, creating to the stagnant economy.

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Looking deeper at today’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover report you can see that while the unemployment rate is showing notable initial signs of establishing a peak, the job openings rate is showing an equal but opposite troughing dynamic.

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Further, the latest data indicates that job hires are occurring at a rate of 3.6% of total employment while total job separations occurs at a rate of 3.5%.

So, currently job hires are slightly outpacing separations thus resulting in, more or less, a stagnant job market and more evidence that the unemployment rate may stay elevated for some time.

It's important to note that today's data is very preliminary and volatile and that a more sustained and sustained spread between the rate of hires and separations would be required to make a significant dent in our current structurally weak job market.

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