US Job openings declined to 10.6 million in November 2021

January 5, 2022

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings fell to 10.6 million on the last business day of November. Hires remained stable at 6.7 million, while total separations grew to 6.3 million. The quits rate inside separations jumped to 3.0 percent, matching a series high last observed in September. The rate of layoffs and discharges remained steady at 0.9 percent. Estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the whole nonfarm sector, by industry, by four geographic areas, and by establishment size class are included in this release.

The number and rate of job openings fell to 10.6 million (-529,000) and 6.6 percent on the last business day of November, respectively. Job postings fell in various areas, with the most significant drops in accommodation and food services (-261,000), construction (-110,000), and nondurable products manufacturing (-110,000). (-66,000). Finance and insurance job vacancies surged by 83,000, while federal government job openings increased by 25,000. The number of job openings in the South and Midwest has fallen.

The number and rate of hires were hardly changed in November, at 6.7 million and 4.5 percent, respectively. Hiring patterns remained consistent across industries and geographies.

Total separations includes quits, layoffs, and discharges, as well as other separations. Employees often initiate voluntary separations when they quit. As a result, the quits rate can be used to gauge employees’ willingness or ability to leave their positions. Employer-initiated layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations. Separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm are examples of other separations.

The total number of separations grew to 6.3 million (+382,000) in November. The total separation rate remained stable at 4.2 percent. Total separations climbed in the accommodation and food services industries (+130,000), but fell in the federal government (-9,000). Total separations varied minimally in all four zones.

In November, the number of quits reached a series high of 4.5 million (+370,000). The quit rate rose to 3.0 percent, matching the historic high set in September. The highest gains in quits were in accommodation and food services (+159,000), health care and social assistance (+52,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+33,000). The number of people quitting grew in the Northeast, South, and Midwest.

The number of layoffs and discharges remained stable in November at 1.4 million. The rate of layoffs and discharges remained steady at 0.9 percent. Layoffs and discharges in the federal government have declined (-4,000). In all four regions, the number of layoffs and discharges remained stable.

In November, the number of other separations remained relatively stable at 377,000. Other separations in real estate, renting and leasing (-5,000) and federal government (-3,000). Other types of separations have increased in the Northeast.


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