U.S.: Job Openings and Labor Turnover

May 9, 2018

While the number of job openings increased to 6.6 million for March 2018, hires, separations and quits (which is a portion of separation) all recorded little change. In other words, the change that occurred in these items were statistically insignificant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in a most recent report, “Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.4 million and 5.3 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.3 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.1 percent.”

Job Openings

Since the turn of the millennium, the job openings level has been its highest, recording a 6.6 million in March 2018. The 4.2% of job opening which occurred in March was felt across both private and government sectors. ”Job openings increased in a number of industries, with the largest increases in professional and business services (112,000), construction (68,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (37,000),” as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Hires decreased in finance and insurance by 32,000, while there was little change in hires across other industries. The number of hires was little changed at 5.4 million in March. The hires rate was 3.7 percent.


Total separations is referred to as turnover and includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm. Total separations for both private and for government was little changed. The number of total separations was 5.3 million in March. Total separations decreased in finance and insurance by 34,000. Quits ( which serves as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs) edged up to 3.3 million in March. Quits rate was 2.3% for the reported period. Even-though little change when compared to February figure, there were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in March. However, layoffs and discharges decreased in health care and social assistance by 35,000.

Net Change in Employment

Over the 12 months ending in March, hires totaled 65.7 million and separations totaled 63.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.3 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.



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