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Job Openings edged up to 7.3 million in October
The number of job openings edged up to 7.3 million (+235,000) on the last business day of October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.8 million and 5.6 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.2 percent. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by four geographic regions.
On the last business day of October, the job openings level edged up to 7.3 million (+235,000). The job openings rate edged up to 4.6 percent. The largest increases in job openings levels were in retail trade (+125,000), finance and insurance (+56,000), and durable goods manufacturing (+50,000). The largest decreases in job openings were in nondurable goods manufacturing (-36,000), information (-33,000), and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-26,000). The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions.
Both the number of hires, at 5.8 million, and the hires rate, at 3.8 percent, changed little in October. The number of hires edged down for total private (-194,000) and was little changed for government. The hires level decreased in retail trade (-97,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions.
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. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.
In October, the number and rate of total separations was little changed at 5.6 million and 3.7 percent, respectively. The number of total separations edged down for total private (-186,000), led by a decrease in retail trade (-109,000) and wholesale trade (-33,000). In government, the number of total separations edged up (+24,000), primarily due to the increase in federal government (+13,000). The total separations level decreased in the South region.
The number of quits was little changed in October at 3.5 million and the rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent. Quits increased in other services (+66,000) and educational services (+12,000). Quits decreased in retail trade (-63,000) and in durable goods manufacturing (-21,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four regions.
The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in October to 1.8 million (-202,000). The layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.2 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in accommodation and food services (-98,000) and other services (-44,000). The number of layoffs and discharges increased in federal government (+16,000), mainly due to layoffs of temporary Census 2020 workers. The layoffs and discharges level decreased in the South region.
The number of other separations was little changed in October. The other separations level was also little changed for total private and for government. Other separations decreased in nondurable goods manufacturing (-5,000) and in federal government (-3,000). The number of other separations was little changed in all four regions.
Net Change in Employment
Large numbers of hires and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle. Net employment change results from the relationship between hires and separations. When the number of hires exceeds the number of separations, employment rises, even if the hires level is steady or declining. Conversely, when the number of hires is less than the number of separations, employment declines, even if the hires level is steady or rising. Over the 12 months ending in October, hires totaled 69.8 million and separations totaled 67.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.4 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
Posted: December 17, 2019 Tuesday 10:00 AM