I received an email from Jon Hartley, Researcher and Policy Analyst for Real Time Macroeconomics on the differences between JOLTS job openings and his research as discussed in BLS Says Jobs Openings Up; Actually, Openings Falling Fast!.

Here are the two charts again, along with new comments from Jon Hartley.

BLS: Job Openings vs. Hires

Jobs Openings

Job Openings – Real Time Macroeconomics

New Jobs Listings

Hartley writes …

Hey Mish,

On the data, a couple things which I outlined in my last interview with Cris:

  1. Our figure is a series of “new” job openings, while the BLS JOLTS number is “total” job openings.
  2. Our data is purely online, whereas BLS JOLTS is offline, which can create specific biases in either series.
  3. JOLTS uses a small sample size and hence can introduce a lot of noise, whereas our sample size is much larger.

Hope this shines some light on the differences between the series.


Mike “Mish” Shedlock