According to the most recent JOLTs report, for the month of May 2012, the US economy gained only 12K jobs in the month of May.
The data shows 4,361,000 hires against 4,349,000 separations. Separations include layoffs, discharges, quits and other forms in which a worker stops working.
The minor gap of 12K is much smaller than the NFP figure for that May: a gain of 77K jobs. The original report was +69K, but this was revised in the latest NFP report.
In April, JOLTs showed a net gain of 71K (4,213K hires vs. 4,142K gains). For this month, NFP and JOLTs are already very close: NFP eventually showed 68K job gains in April. The original report showed +115K and was then revised to +77K before the latest revision to 68K.
Will the NFP data eventually be revised to only a marginal job growth in May?
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTs) report is often overlooked. The main reason is that the data is released quite late: around 5-6 weeks after the month has ended. The Non-Farm Payrolls report is usually published on the first Friday that the month ended.
However, this BLS report was highlighted by Ben Bernanke earlier in the year. Bernanke looks at the layoffs, the hiring and the job openings data.
The latter is somewhat encouraging for the month of May: the number of job openings rose from 3.477 million in April to 3.642 million in May 2012. Opening stood on only 3.077 million back in May 2011.
This chart from Calculated Risk shows the all the relevant data since 2001:
Further reading: FOMC Minutes Show that Extended Twist was Substitute to QE3