U.S. Job Openings and Labor Turnover – November 2018

Date: January 11, 2019

The Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that, “the number of job openings fell to 6.9 million on the last business day of November.” In addition, “over the month, hires edged down to 5.7 million, quits edged down to 3.4 million, and total separations were little changed at 5.5 million,” the BLS stated. Regarding quits rate and the layoffs and discharges rate, these were unchanged at 2.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Job Openings

The job openings for the last business day of November, fell to 6.9 million (-243,000). In which, the job openings rate was 4.4 percent. Furthermore, the number of job openings decreased for total private (-237,000) and recorded little changed for government. BLS highlighted that, “Job openings increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+40,000). The job openings level decreased in a number of industries, with the largest decreases in other services (-66,000) and construction (-45,000). Job openings fell in the West region.”


In November, there was a decline in the number of hires to 5.7 million (-218,000), in which the rate was recorded at 3.8 percent. For total private (-236,000), the hires level fell and there was a slight change for government. “Hires increased in federal government (+8,000) but decreased in professional and business services (-167,000). The number of hires decreased in the South region,” as indicated by the BLS.


Total separations include quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separation is referred to as turnover. Total separations changed little and was 5.5 million in November with a rate of 3.7 percent. While, the number of quits went down in November to 3.4 million (-112,000). The quit rate was 2.3 percent. As for layoffs and discharges, it closed the period at 1.8 million and at a rate of 1.2 percent. As indicated by the BLS, “The number of other separations was little changed at 332,000 in November. The other separations level was little changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+5,000) and in federal government (+4,000) but decreased in professional and business services (-22,000). The number of other separations increased in the Northeast region but decreased in the Midwest and West regions.”


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