Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, May 9, 2017	USDL-17-0590

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 – MARCH 2017

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.7 million on the last business day of March, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were also little changed 
at 5.3 million and 5.1 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits and the layoffs and discharges 
rates were unchanged at 2.1 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. 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

On the last business day of March, there were 5.7 million job openings, little changed from February. 
The job openings rate was 3.8 percent in March. The number of job openings was little changed for total 
private and edged up for government. Job openings increased in professional and business services 
(+126,000), other services (+55,000), and state and local government education (+27,000). Job openings 
decreased in educational services (-43,000) and mining and logging (-8,000). The number of job 
openings was little changed in all four regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires was essentially unchanged at 5.3 million in March. The hires rate was 3.6 percent. 
The number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. Hires increased in health 
care and social assistance (+49,000), but decreased in mining and logging (-8,000). The number of hires 
was little changed in all four regions. (See table 2.)
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, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.

There were 5.1 million total separations in March, little changed from February. The total separations 
rate in March was 3.5 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and 
decreased for government (-38,000). Total separations increased in health care and social assistance 
(+67,000) and educational services (+29,000), but decreased in state and local government education 
(-39,000). The number of total separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed at 3.1 million in March. The quits rate was 2.1 percent. The 
number of quits was little changed for total private and for government. Quits increased in health care 
and social assistance (+52,000), but decreased in information (-12,000). In the regions, the number of 
quits increased in the West. (See table 4.)

There were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in March, little changed from February. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.1 percent in March. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for 
total private and decreased for government (-33,000). The layoffs and discharges level increased in real 
estate and rental and leasing (+18,000) and educational services (+18,000). The layoffs and discharges 
level decreased in state and local government education (-31,000). The number of layoffs and discharges 
was little changed in all four regions. (See table 5.)

In March, the number of other separations was little changed for total nonfarm, total private, and 
government. Other separations increased in educational services (+5,000), but decreased in state and 
local government education (-7,000). In the regions, the number of other separations decreased in the 
West. (See table 6.)

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 March, hires totaled 62.9 million and 
separations totaled 60.5 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.

____________
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey results for April 2017 are scheduled to be released 
on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: May 09, 2017