I'm looking for US hiring data at national level from 1947 to 2018. I'm interested in data similar to what the BLS website has available for after 2000.

  • Sorry for the confusion. It is just hiring data at national level.
    – Carl
    Jul 25 '18 at 3:53
  • 1
    Sorry, your question is still very unclear. Hiring who, where, what data specifically? What is level? Please read this and edit your question.
    – user4293
    Jul 25 '18 at 7:50
  • I'd start with dol.gov or data.gov or something similar... if that doesn't work, let us know what you did/didn't find.
    – user3856
    Jul 25 '18 at 17:46
  • I just want to find US. national hiring data from 1930 to 2018. I know BLS website collects this data but its span is only after 2000.
    – Carl
    Jul 26 '18 at 5:10
  • 1
    OK, when I go to data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0000000001 (which isn't the specific data you need), the pulldown lets me go back to 1939. That's not as far back as you need, but have you poked around this area to see if the data you want is available further back? OK, never mind. I see that data.bls.gov/timeseries/JTS00000000HIR is the data you want and it does only go back to 2000.
    – user3856
    Jul 27 '18 at 18:39

The Job Openings and Labor Employment Survey (JOLTS) was launched in the year 2000, so there isn't any older data from this source.

This survey replaced an older one called the Labor Turnover Survey, which lasted from 1954 to 1981. This data was published in a report from the BLS called Employment and Earnings on a monthly basis. But if you pick one from each decade the report has an annual time series that covers the previous ten years. They're archived by the St Louis Fed here:


Here's an example of the last report that contained that data, from 1982:


This isn't great as there are two decades missing and the methodologies are a bit different. I went through a copy of the stats abstract from the mid 1990s to see if there was something comparable for the years in-between for hires or turnover, but didn't see anything.

Another possibility would be to use the Current Employment Statistics, which is a much longer series that stretches back to the 1930s (which Barry mentioned and linked to). The JOLTS page has documentation that high lights the difference between the two datasets:


In short:

"The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) measures hires and separations on a monthly basis. If separations are subtracted from hires, the difference represents an implied employment change. The Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey provides net employment change. The JOLTS implied employment change and the CES net employment change are conceptually similar and are expected to track well with each other over time."

So it's a compromise. Net change is not the same as hires, but if you go with the CES you can get a long time series. Or you use JOLTS with the definition you want and a shorter time series, with the option of digging out the LTS data from those reports to extend the series a few decades with a gap in between.

  • You're welcome!
    – fdonnelly
    Aug 7 '18 at 19:34

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