Job Openings Still Outnumber Job Seekers

10/10/2019

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, October 9, 2019 USDL-19-1772

Technical information: (202) 691-5870 • [email protected] • www.bls.gov/jlt

Media contact: (202) 691-5902 • [email protected]

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – AUGUST 2019

The number of job openings was little changed at 7.1 million on the last business day of August, the

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires edged down to 5.8 million and

separations were little changed at 5.6 million. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.3

percent, and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.2 percent. This release includes

estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by

industry and by four geographic regions.

Job Openings

On the last business day of August, the job openings level was little changed at 7.1 million. The job

openings rate was 4.4 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and for

government. The job openings level decreased in nondurable goods manufacturing (-49,000) and in

information (-47,000). The number of job openings decreased in the Midwest region. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires edged down to 5.8 million (-199,000) in August. The hires rate was 3.8 percent.

The number of hires edged down for total private (-219,000) and was little changed for government. The

hires level increased in federal government (+35,000). The number of hires decreased in the South

region. (See table 2.)

Separations

Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is

referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore,

the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and

discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations

due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.

The number of total separations was little changed at 5.6 million in August. The total separations rate

was 3.7 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and for government.

The total separations level was little changed in all industries. The number of total separations decreased in the Midwest region. (See table 3.)

The number of quits decreased in August to 3.5 million (-142,000). The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The

quits level decreased for total private (-144,000) and was little changed for government. Quits

decreased in professional and business services (-76,000) and in other services (-67,000). The number of

quits decreased in the Midwest region. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in August at 1.8 million. The layoffs and

discharges rate was 1.2 percent. The layoffs and discharges level was little changed for total private and

for government. The number of layoffs and discharges increased in federal government (+3,000). The

layoffs and discharges level was little changed in all four regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in August. The other separations level was also

little changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in arts, entertainment,

and recreation (+3,000). The number of other separations was little changed in all four regions. (See

table 6.)

Net Change in Employment

Large numbers of hires and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle. Net

employment change results from the relationship between hires and separations. When the number of

hires exceeds the number of separations, employment rises, even if the hires level is steady or declining.

Conversely, when the number of hires is less than the number of separations, employment declines, even

if the hires level is steady or rising. Over the 12 months ending in August, hires totaled 69.5 million and

separations totaled 67.1 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.4 million. These totals include

workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.


 
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