Tue May 12 09:00:00 CDT 2015

Consensus Consensus Range Actual Previous Revised
Job Openings 5.158M 5.150M to 5.165M 4.994M 5.133M 5.144M

Yesterday's labor market conditions index was very soft as is today's JOLTS report where job openings fell 2.9 percent to 4.994 million in March from a revised 5.144 million in February. This is well below the Econoday consensus for 5.158 million.

Despite the March fall-off, workers appear to be confident in the labor market judging by their willingness to quit. The quits rate rose 1 tenth in the month to 2.0 percent. The hiring rate in the month held steady at 3.6 percent.

Last week's employment report for April proved much better than March but was still soft, a description underscored by today's report. Not soft, however, have been weekly jobless claims which will be posted on Thursday.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
Data throughout the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey have been pointing higher, including jobs openings which broke through 5.0 million in the last report.

The JOLTS report is the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The headline number is job openings.

The JOLTS report defines Job Openings as all positions that are open (not filled) on the last business day of the month. A job is "open" only if it meets all three of the following conditions:
* A specific position exists and there is work available for that position. The position can be full-time or part-time, and it can be permanent, short-term, or seasonal, and
* The job could start within 30 days, whether or not the establishment finds a suitable candidate during that time, and
* There is active recruiting for workers from outside the establishment location that has the opening.

Active recruiting means the establishment is taking steps to fill a position. It may include advertising in newspapers, on television, or on radio; posting Internet notices; posting "help wanted" signs; networking with colleagues or making "word of mouth" announcements; accepting applications; interviewing candidates; contacting employment agencies; or soliciting employees at job fairs, state or local employment offices, or similar sources.

Job Openings does not include:
* Positions open only to internal transfers, promotions or demotions, or recall from layoffs
* Openings for positions with start dates more than 30 days in the future
* Positions for which employees have been hired, but the employees have not yet reported for work
* Positions to be filled by employees of temporary help agencies, employee leasing companies, outside contractors, or consultants. A separate form is used to collect information from temporary help/employee leasing firms for these employees.

JOLTS defines hires as all additions to the payroll during the month. JOLTS defines separations as all employees separated from the payroll during the calendar month.

Although lagging the release timing of the employment situation report by a month, JOLTS provides additional information on the labor market. The payroll survey in the employment situation report provides numbers on net job changes. JOLTS breaks down labor market data into pre-net changessuch as job openings, hires, and separations.