More Job Openings than Job Seekers for 15th Straight Month

7/10/2019

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, July 9, 2019 USDL-19-1249

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JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – MAY 2019

The number of job openings was little changed at 7.3 million on the last business day of May, the U.S.

Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires fell to 5.7 million and separations

edged down to 5.5 million. Within separations, the quits and the layoffs and discharges rates were

unchanged at 2.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. 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 May, the job openings level was little changed at 7.3 million. The job

openings rate was 4.6 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and

decreased for government (-54,000). The job openings level increased in other services (+77,000). Job

openings decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in construction (-65,000),

transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-60,000), and real estate and rental and leasing (-49,000). The

number of job openings increased in the Northeast region. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires decreased to 5.7 million (-266,000) in May. The hires rate was 3.8 percent. The

hires level fell for total private (-262,000) and was little changed for government. Hires decreased in

professional and business services (-129,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions.

(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 edged down to 5.5 million (-192,000) in May. The total separations

rate was 3.6 percent. The number of total separations edged down for total private (-204,000) and was

little changed for government. The total separations level decreased in professional and business

services (-95,000). The number of total separations decreased in the South region. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed in May at 3.4 million. The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The quits

level edged down for total private (-117,000) and increased for government (+25,000). Quits decreased

in professional and business services (-92,000) and real estate and rental and leasing (-16,000), but

increased in state and local government education (+18,000). The number of quits decreased in the

South region. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in May 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 arts, entertainment, and recreation

(+36,000). The layoffs and discharges level fell in the South region. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in May. The other separations level was little

changed for total private and for government. Other separations decreased in professional and business

services (-26,000), information (-10,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (-7,000). The other

separations level increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+8,000). The number of other

separations fell in the West region. (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 May, hires totaled 69.5 million and separations totaled 66.9 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.6 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.


 
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