Ahead of the Bell: Job Openings survey

July 10, 2012 - 5:35 AM

The government on Tuesday will report on JOLTS, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, for May.

The JOLTs report measures gross job gains, compared with the monthly jobs reports which are net figures calculated after subtracting layoffs and quits.

In April, JOLTs showed that the number of available jobs in the United States fell to 3.4 million — the fewest in five months. Hiring has weakened sharply from the start of the year, and so have openings. With 12.5 million unemployed people in April, that meant 3.7 people, on average, were competing for each open job. In a healthy job market, the ratio is usually around 2 to 1.

On Friday, government data showed that the economy added only 80,000 jobs in June, erasing any doubt that the United States is in a summer slump for the third year in a row. It was the third consecutive month of weak job growth. From April through June, the economy produced an average of just 75,000 jobs a month, down from an average of 226,000 per month in January through March.

The unemployment rate remains at 8.2 percent — a recession-level figure, even though the Great Recession has technically been over for three years.

The report is due at 10 a.m. ET.