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Job Openings fell to 6.8 million in November
The number of job openings fell to 6.8 million (-561,000) on the last business day of November, 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 1.1 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 November, the total nonfarm job openings level fell to 6.8 million (-561,000). The job openings rate decreased to 4.3 percent. The job openings level decreased for total private (-520,000) and edged down for government (-42,000). The largest decreases in job openings were in retail trade (-139,000) and construction (-112,000). The number of job openings fell in the South and Midwest regions.
The number of total nonfarm hires was little changed at 5.8 million in November. The hires rate was unchanged at 3.8 percent. The hires level was little changed in all industries and 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 November, the number of total nonfarm total separations was little changed at 5.6 million and the rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent. The number of total separations increased in retail trade (+103,000). Total separations decreased in other services (-53,000) and in federal government (-13,000). The total separations level was little changed in all four regions.
The number of total nonfarm quits was little changed in November at 3.5 million and the rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent. Quits increased in retail trade (+118,000), wholesale trade (+26,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (+19,000). Quits decreased in other services (-63,000). The number of quits increased in the South region.
The number and rate of total nonfarm layoffs and discharges were little changed in November at 1.7 million and 1.1 percent, respectively. The layoffs and discharges level was little changed for total private and edged down for government (-22,000). The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in federal government (-14,000). The layoffs and discharges level was little changed in all four regions.
The number of total nonfarm other separations was little changed in November. Other separations decreased in accommodation and food services (-13,000), real estate and rental and leasing (-5,000), and state and local government education (-5,000). 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 November, hires totaled 69.8 million and separations totaled 67.5 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.3 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
Posted: January 17, 2020 Friday 10:00 AM