Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, February 10, 2015	USDL-15-0210

Technical information:  (202) 691-5870  •  JoltsInfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/jlt
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov

                    JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – DECEMBER 2014

There were 5.0 million job openings on the last business day of December, little changed from 4.8 
million in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires (5.1 million) and 
separations (4.9 million) were little changed in December. Within separations, the quits rate (1.9 
percent) and the layoffs and discharges rate (1.2 percent) were unchanged. 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 5.0 million job openings on the last business day of December, little changed from 
November. This was the highest level of job openings since January 2001. The job openings rate for 
December was 3.5 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and 
increased for government in December. (See table 1.) Job openings increased for health care and social 
assistance and for state and local government. The number of job openings increased in the Northeast 
region.

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in 
December for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Job openings increased over the year for 
many industries including the professional and business services and the health care and social 
assistance industries. The number of openings increased over the year in all four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

There were 5.1 million hires in December, little changed from November. This was the highest level of 
hires since November 2007. The hires rate in December was 3.7 percent. The number of hires was little 
changed for total private and government. Hires increased over the month in construction. The number 
of hires was little changed in all four regions. (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in December, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) increased for 
total nonfarm and total private, and was little changed for government. Hires increased over the year in 
construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The number of hires 
increased in the South region. (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 4.9 million total separations in December, little changed from November. This was the 
highest level of separations since October 2008. The separations rate was 3.5 percent. The number of 
total separations was little changed for total private and government. Total separations rose in the 
Northeast region. (See table 3.)

There were 2.7 million quits in December, little changed from November. The quits rate in December 
was 1.9 percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and government. Quits 
increased in construction and durable goods manufacturing. The number of quits was little changed in 
all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in December for 
total nonfarm and total private and was little changed for government. Over the year, quits increased for 
several industries, including the retail trade and the accommodation and food services industries. Quits 
decreased in mining and logging and in professional and business services. The number of quits 
increased over the year in the South region. (See table 10.)

There were 1.7 million layoffs and discharges in December, little changed from November. The layoffs 
and discharges rate was 1.2 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed over the 
month for total private and government. In the Northeast region, layoffs and discharges increased. (See 
table 5.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of layoffs and discharges are not available for individual 
industries.

The number of layoffs and discharges (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months 
ending in December for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of layoffs and 
discharges decreased over the year in accommodation and food services and in the federal government. 
The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four regions. (See table 11.)

In December, there were 443,000 other separations for total nonfarm, an increase from November. 
This was the highest level of other separations since May 2006. Over the month, the number of other 
separations increased for total private to 383,000 and was little changed for government at 61,000. (See 
table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not available for individual industries or 
regions.

Over the 12 months ending in December, the number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) 
increased for total nonfarm and total private and was little changed for government. Other separations 
increased over the year in a few industries including retail trade. Other separations increased in the 
South and West regions. (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 December 2014, hires totaled 58.3 
million and separations totaled 55.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.9 million. These 
figures include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
____________
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey results for January 2015 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
|                                 Revisions to the JOLTS Data                                   |
|                                                                                               |
|With the release of January data on March 10, the BLS will revise the job openings, hires, and |
|separations data to incorporate the annual updates to the Current Employment Statistics        |
|employment estimates and the JOLTS seasonal adjustment factors. Unadjusted data and seasonally |
|adjusted data from January 2010 forward are subject to revision.                               |
|_______________________________________________________________________________________________|

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Last Modified Date: February 10, 2015