U.S. Job Openings went down to 6.4 million in December 2019

February 11, 2020

The Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that, the number of job openings edged down to 6.4 million (-364,000) on the last business day of December. In addition, for December, hires and separations changed to 5.9 million and 5.7 million, respectively. Regarding the quits rate and layoffs and discharge rate, these were unchanged at 2.3% and 1.2 % respectively.

Job Openings

The job openings for the last business day of December fell 6.4 million (-364,000). In which, the job openings rate fell to 4.0%. Furthermore, the number of job openings went down for total private (-332,000) and was little changed for Government. BLS highlighted that, “the largest decreases for job openings were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-88,000), real estate and rental and leasing (-34,000), and educational services (-34,000). The number of job openings fell in the South region.”


In December, the number of hires was relatively stable at 5.9 million in which the hires rate was recorded at 3.9%. However, “the hires level increased in accommodation and food services (+69,000). The number of hires increased in the West region,” as indicated by the BLS.


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. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Total separations was slightly changed at 5.7 million in December with a rate of 3.8%. While, the number of quits slightly changed in December at 3.5 million with a quits rate of 2.3%. As for layoffs and discharges, it closed at 1.9 million in December and at a rate of 1.2%. As indicated by the BLS, “the number of other separations was little changed in December. Other separations decreased in other services (-18,000). The number of other separations was little changed in all four regions.”

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