February 7, 2018
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the number of job openings was at 5.8 million on the last business day of December. The job openings fell 2.% in December 2017 when compared to November 2017. The number of job openings changed marginally for total private and for government. Job openings rose in information by 33,000 while the federal government recorded an increase of 13,000. Job openings slid in a number of industries with the largest decline occurring in professional and business services (-119,000), retail trade (-85,000), and construction (-52,000).
The number of hires was little changed at 5.5 million for December with the hires rate at 3.7%. The number of hires was changed marginally for total private, for government, and in all industries and regions. Total hires fell marginally by 0.1% from November 2017 to December 2017. Year over year total hires increase from 5.3 million to 5.5 million in 2017.
The number of total separations was little changed at 5.2 million in December. The total separations rate was 3.6%, while the number of total separations was little changed for total private and for government. Total separations increased in state and local government education by 17,000. For the calendar year ending December 2017, total separation increased by 3%, from 5 million to 5.2 million.
The number of quits was little changed at 3.3 million in December 2017 versus November 2017, resulting in a quit rate of 2.2%. The number of quits was little changed for total private and for government. quits decreased in federal government by 4,000.
There were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in December of last year when compared to the previous month. The layoffs and discharges rate was 1.1% in December. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total private and for government. Layoffs and discharges increased in state and local government education by 15,000. The number of other separations was little changed in December at 334,000. The number of other separations was little changed for total private and edged down for government. Other separations decreased in state and local government, excluding education (-11,000).
Net Change in Employment
Over the 12 months ending in December, hires totalled 64.7 million and separations totalled 62.6 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.2 million.