Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, January 8, 2019	USDL-19-0017

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                              JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – NOVEMBER 2018

The number of job openings fell to 6.9 million on the last business day of November, the U.S. Bureau of 
Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires edged down to 5.7 million, quits edged down to 
3.4 million, and total separations were little changed at 5.5 million. Within separations, the quits rate and 
the layoffs and discharges rate were unchanged at 2.3 percent and 1.2 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 November, the job openings level fell to 6.9 million (-243,000). The job 
openings rate was 4.4 percent. The number of job openings decreased for total private (-237,000) and 
was little changed for government. Job openings increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities 
(+40,000). The job openings level decreased in a number of industries, with the largest decreases in 
other services (-66,000) and construction (-45,000). Job openings fell in the West region. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires edged down to 5.7 million (-218,000) in November. The hires rate was 3.8 percent. 
The hires level fell for total private (-236,000) and was little changed for government. Hires increased in 
federal government (+8,000) but decreased in professional and business services (-167,000). The 
number of hires decreased in the South region. (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.

The number of total separations was little changed at 5.5 million in November. The total separations 
rate was 3.7 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and for 
government. Total separations decreased in professional and business services (-122,000) and in 
accommodation and food services (-88,000). The number of total separations was little changed in all 
four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits edged down in November to 3.4 million (-112,000). The quits rate was 2.3 percent. 
The quits level edged down for total private (-122,000) and was little changed for government. Quits fell 
in professional and business services (-84,000) and in accommodation and food services (-62,000). The 
number of quits was little changed in all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in November at 1.8 million. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.2 percent. The layoffs and discharges level was little changed for total private and 
for government. Layoffs and discharges increased in educational services (+17,000). The number of 
layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed at 332,000 in November. The other separations 
level was little changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in arts, 
entertainment, and recreation (+5,000) and in federal government (+4,000), but decreased in 
professional and business services (-22,000). The number of other separations increased in the Northeast 
region, but decreased in the Midwest and West regions. (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 November, hires totaled 68.0 million 
and separations totaled 65.6 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.4 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 December 2018 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: January 08, 2019