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Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in Jolts

45 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2008 Last revised: 3 Sep 2010

Steven J. Davis

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

R. Jason Faberman

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Bureau of Labor Statistics - Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics

John Haltiwanger

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Ian Rucker

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Date Written: June 2008

Abstract

We develop and implement a method to improve estimates of worker flows and job openings based on the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Our method involves reweighting the cross-sectional density of employment growth rates in JOLTS to match the corresponding density in the comprehensive Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data. To motivate our work, we compare JOLTS to other data sources and document large discrepancies with respect to aggregate employment growth, the magnitude of worker flows, and the cross-sectional density of establishment growth rates. We also discuss issues related to JOLTS sample design and nonresponse corrections. Our adjusted statistics for hires and separations exceed the published statistics by about one-third. The adjusted layoff rate is more than 60 percent greater than the published layoff rate. Time-series properties are also affected. For example, hires exhibit more volatility than separations in the published statistics, but the reverse holds in the adjusted statistics. The impact of our adjustment methodology on estimated job openings is more modest, raising the vacancy rate by about 8 percent.

Suggested Citation

Davis, Steven J. and Faberman, R. Jason and Haltiwanger, John and Rucker, Ian, Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in Jolts (June 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14137. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1152678

Steven J. Davis (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-7312 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

R. Jason Faberman

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
(312) 322-5274 (Phone)
(312) 322-2357 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/people/faberman_jason.cfm

Bureau of Labor Statistics - Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics ( email )

2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20212
United States

John C. Haltiwanger

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-3504 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ian Rucker

Bureau of Labor Statistics ( email )

2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20212
United States

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