Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in JOLTS

Steven J. Davis, R. Jason Faberman, John C. Haltiwanger and Ian Rucker

in Labor in the New Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780226001432
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226001463 | DOI:
Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in JOLTS

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This chapter focuses on the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for estimation of worker flows and job openings in the U.S. labor market. JOLTS data are mentioned to be a valuable resource for understanding labor market dynamics and for evaluating theories of unemployment and worker turnover. They also present measurement issues that are not well understood or fully appreciated. A key point is that the JOLTS sample overweights relatively stable establishments with low rates of hires and separations, and underweights establishments with rapid growth or contraction. The unrepresentative nature of the JOLTS sample with respect to the cross-sectional density of employment growth rates matters because hires, quits, layoffs, and job openings vary greatly with establishment growth rates in the cross-section. As a result, the current JOLTS program produces downwardly biased estimates for worker flows and job openings.

Keywords: labor market; United States; job openings; workers; labor mobility

Chapter.  12670 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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