Job openings, hires, and separations rates in August 2011

October 17, 2011

The job openings rate has trended upward slowly since the end of the recession in June 2009 (as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research).

Job openings rate, seasonally adjusted, September 2008–August 2011
[Chart data]

Although the number of job openings remained below the 4.4 million openings when the recession began in December 2007, the level in August was 944,000 higher than in July 2009 (the most recent trough).

In August, the seasonally adjusted hires and separations rates for total nonfarm were little changed at 3.1 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.

Hires and separations rates, seasonally adjusted, September 2008–August 2011
[Chart data]

The number of hires in August was 4.0 million, up from 3.6 million in October 2009 (the most recent trough) but below the 5.0 million hires recorded when the recession began in December 2007.

These data are from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, and are seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see "Job Opening and Labor Turnover – August 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-1468. The total separations figure includes voluntary quits, involuntary layoffs, and discharges, and other separations, including retirements. Total separations is also referred to as turnover.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Job openings, hires, and separations rates in August 2011 on the Internet at (visited September 24, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.