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Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in JOLTS

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

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14137.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in JOLTS , Steven J. Davis, R. Jason Faberman, John C. Haltiwanger, Ian Rucker. in Labor in the New Economy , Abraham, Spletzer, and Harper. 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14137
Note: EFG LS
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  1. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  2. Bruce C. Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman, 2004. "Employer-to-employer flows in the U.S. labor market: the complete picture of gross worker flows," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 525, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. R. Jason Faberman, 2005. "Studying the Labor Market with the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey," Working Papers 388, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  5. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John C. Haltiwanger, 2013. "The Establishment-Level Behavior of Vacancies and Hiring," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 581-622.
  6. Jacob Mincer & Boyan Jovanovic, 1981. "Labor Mobility and Wages," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 21-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Javier Miranda & Alfred Nucci & Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & C.J. Krizan & Kristin Sandusky, 2006. "Measuring the Dynamics of Young and Small Businesses: Integrating the Employer and Nonemployer Universes," Working Papers 06-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Davis, Steven J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1999. "Gross job flows," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2711-2805 Elsevier.
  9. Robert Shimer, 2007. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 13421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Shigeru Fugita & Garey Ramey, 2006. "Job matching and propagation," Working Papers 06-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  11. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2007. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," IEW - Working Papers 351, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  12. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  13. R. Jason Faberman, 2006. "Job Flows and the Recent Business Cycle: Not All "Recoveries" Are Created Equal," Working Papers 391, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  14. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 3-26, Summer.
  15. Eva Nagypal & R. Jason Faberman, 2007. "The Effect of Quits on Worker Recruitment: Theory and Evidence," 2007 Meeting Papers 780, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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