Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, July 7, 2015	USDL-15-1321

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                         JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – MAY 2015

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.4 million on the last business day of May, the 
highest since the series began in December 2000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
The number of hires was unchanged at 5.0 million in May and the number of separations was little 
changed at 4.7 million. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 1.9 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.

Job Openings

Job openings were little changed at 5.4 million on the last business day of May, remaining at a 
historically high level. The job openings rate for May 2015 was 3.6 percent. The number of job openings 
was little changed for total private and government. Job openings increased in nondurable goods 
manufacturing and in state and local government. Job openings were little changed in all four regions. 
(See table 1.)

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in May for 
total nonfarm, total private, and government. Job openings rose over the year for many industries with 
the largest increases occurring in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care and 
social assistance. Job openings decreased over the year in mining and logging and in arts, entertainment, 
and recreation. The number of job openings increased over the year in the South, Midwest, and West 
regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

The number of hires was 5.0 million in May, unchanged from April. The hires rate was 3.5 percent. The 
number of hires was little changed for total private and government in May. There was little change in 
the number of hires in all industries and regions over the month. (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. At the industry level, hires increased in federal 
government. Among the industries, the number of hires decreased over the year in mining and logging. 
The number of hires was little changed over the year 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 includes separations 
due to retirement, death, and disability, as well as transfers to other locations of the same firm.

There were 4.7 million total separations in May, about the same as in April. The separations rate was 
3.3 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and government, and in 
all industries and regions over the month. (See table 3.)

There were 2.7 million quits in May, unchanged from April. The quits rate in May was 1.9 percent. The 
number of quits was little changed for total private and government over the month. The number of quits 
was little changed in all industries and in all four regions in May. (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. Over the year, quits increased in 
health care and social assistance and in accommodation and food services. The number of quits was 
little changed in all four regions. (See table 10.)

There were 1.7 million layoffs and discharges in May, about the same as in April. 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, and in all four regions. (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 May for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of layoffs and discharges 
increased over the year in federal government, but decreased in real estate and rental and leasing. There 
was little change in layoffs and discharges over the year in all four regions. (See table 11.)

In May, there were 391,000 other separations for total nonfarm, about the same as in April. Over the 
month, the number of other separations was little changed for total private at 324,000 and for 
government at 67,000. (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, total private, and government. Other separations increased in federal 
government, but decreased in accommodation and food services and in state and local government. The 
number of other separations was little changed in all four 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 May 2015, hires totaled 60.2 million 
and separations totaled 57.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.8 million. These totals 
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 2015 are scheduled to be released 
on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: July 07, 2015