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Job Openings increased to 10.9 million in January 2022
The number of job openings was little changed at 10.9 million on the last business day of December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and total separations decreased to 6.3 million and 5.9 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.9 percent. The layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 0.8 percent, a series low. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, by four geographic regions, and by establishment size class.
On the last business day of December, the number of job openings was little changed at 10.9 million. The job openings rate was unchanged at 6.8 percent. Job openings increased in several industries with the largest increases in accommodation and food services (+133,000), information (+40,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing and state and local government education (+31,000 each). Job openings decreased in finance and insurance (-89,000) and in wholesale trade (-48,000). The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions.
In December, the number of hires decreased to 6.3 million (-333,000). The hires rate was little changed at 4.2 percent. Hires decreased in professional and business services (-159,000). Hires decreased in the West region.
Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. 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 December, the number of total separations decreased to 5.9 million (-305,000). The total separations rate was little changed at 4.0 percent. Among the industries, only federal government had an increase in total separations (+15,000). Total separations decreased in the Northeast and South regions.
The number of quits edged down in December to 4.3 million (-161,000) following a series high in November. The quits rate was little changed at 2.9 percent. Quits decreased in health care and social assistance (-89,000), accommodation and food services (-64,000), and construction (-44,000). Quits increased in nondurable goods manufacturing (+19,000). The number of quits decreased in the South region.
In December, the number and rate of layoffs and discharges were little changed at 1.2 million and 0.8 percent, respectively; both series lows. Layoffs and discharges decreased in retail trade (-67,000) but increased in federal government (+14,000). The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in the Northeast region.
The number of other separations was little changed in December at 392,000. Other separations decreased in durable goods manufacturing (-7,000). The other separations level increased in educational services and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+3,000 each). Other separations increased in the West region.
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 December 2021, hires totaled 75.3 million and separations totaled 68.9 million, yielding a net employment gain of 6.4 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
Establishment Size Class
In December, the hires rate decreased in large establishments with 5,000 or more employees. For a more in-depth description of the JOLTS establishment size class estimates, please visit www.bls.gov/jlt/sizeclassmethodology.htm.
Posted: February 1, 2022 Tuesday 10:00 AM