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BLS began developing the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) program in 1998 to assess the unmet demand for labor in the U.S. labor market. The collection, estimation, and analysis of data began in 2000. JOLTS data were first released to the public in 2002, with a monthly series dating back to December 2000. In 2004, the JOLTS program converted from an experimental series to an official BLS series. On March 14, 2006, JOLTS published the first annual hires and separations series.
Subsequent to these milestones, JOLTS has continued to expand the number of published industry sectors. Improvements and updates to the collection and estimation methodologies also continues. In April 2010, web collection was implemented for reporting establishments. Experimental size class estimates were developed and released for the first time in 2010. First, experimental establishment size class estimates were made available to the public. In 2017, experimental firm size class estimates were subsequently produced in two releases. In 2019, experimental state estimates were produced for the first time. Total nonfarm estimates for all 50 states and the District of Columbia were released.
In 2020, establishment size class estimates became an official BLS series. In 2021, state estimates became an official BLS series.