Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, July 8, 2014	USDL-14-1285

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                    JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – MAY 2014

There were 4.6 million job openings on the last business day of May, little changed from 4.5 million in 
April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.4 percent) and separations 
rate (3.2 percent) were essentially unchanged in May. Within separations, the quits rate (1.8 percent) 
was unchanged and the layoffs and discharges rate (1.1 percent) was little changed. 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. 

Job Openings

There were 4.6 million job openings in May, little changed from 4.5 million in April. The number of job 
openings was also little changed for total private and government. The job openings level increased for 
nondurable manufacturing and for health care and social assistance in May, while it decreased for retail 
trade and for arts, entertainment, and recreation. The number of job openings was little changed in all 
four regions in May. (See table 1.)

Over the 12 months ending in May, the number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) rose for total 
nonfarm, total private, and government. Over the year, the job openings level increased in nearly half of 
the industries and in all four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

There were 4.7 million hires in May, little changed from April. The number of hires was little changed 
for total private and government, and in all industries and regions. (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in May, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for 
total nonfarm, total private, and government. The hires level increased over the year in mining and 
logging and in retail trade, but decreased in finance and insurance. The number of hires was little 
changed in all four regions. (See table 8.)

Separations

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 include separations 
due to retirement, death, and disability, as well as transfers to other locations of the same firm.

There were 4.5 million total separations in May, little changed from April. The number of total 
separations was little changed for total private and government. (See table 3.)

The quits rate was unchanged at 1.8 percent in May. The rate also was essentially unchanged for total 
private (2.1 percent) and unchanged for government (0.6 percent). The quits rate was little changed over 
the month in all industries and in all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in May for total 
nonfarm and total private and was little changed for government. The number of quits increased over the 
year in wholesale trade, retail trade, and in accommodation and food services while decreasing in 
finance and insurance. In the regions, the number of quits rose over the year in the Midwest and South. 
(See table 10.)

The layoffs and discharges rate was little changed in May at 1.1 percent. The rate was little changed 
over the month for total private (1.3 percent) and unchanged for government (0.4 percent). The layoffs 
and discharges rate was essentially unchanged in all four regions. Seasonally adjusted estimates of 
layoffs and discharges are not available for individual industries. (See table 5.) 

The layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months ending 
in May for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of layoffs and discharges increased 
over the year in mining and logging and decreased in federal government. The number of layoffs and 
discharges fell in the Midwest over the year. (See table 11.)

In May, there were 392,000 other separations for total nonfarm, little changed from April. The number 
of other separations for total private was little changed over the month at 319,000 and rose to 73,000 for 
government. (See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not available for 
individual industries or regions. Over the 12 months ending in May, the number of other separations (not 
seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total nonfarm and total private, and was up for government. 
(See table 12.)

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 May 2014, hires totaled 55.3 million 
and separations totaled 53.0 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.3 million. These figures 
include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
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The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey results for June 2014 are scheduled to be released 
on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: July 08, 2014