Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, July 10, 2018	USDL-18-1141

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                              JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – MAY 2018

The number of job openings edged down to 6.6 million on the last business day of May, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.8 
million and 5.5 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate and the layoffs and discharges 
rate were little changed at 2.4 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 May, the job openings level edged down to 6.6 million from a revised April 
level of 6.8 million, a series high. The job openings rate was 4.3 percent. The number of job openings 
decreased for total private (-228,000) and was little changed for government. Job openings increased in 
federal government (+12,000) and mining and logging (+10,000) but decreased in information (-60,000) 
and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-27,000). The number of job openings decreased in the Northeast 
region. (See table 1.)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|                             Errors in JOLTS federal government estimates                              |
|BLS identified errors in the JOLTS federal government hires, total separations, and layoffs and        |
|discharges estimates from January 2011 forward. These data have been suppressed from the BLS database  |
|and this news release. For more information on this error and correction plans, please visit:          |
|www.bls.gov/bls/errata/jolts-errata-06122018.htm.                                                      |
|_______________________________________________________________________________________________________|

Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.8 million in May. The hires rate was 3.9 percent. The 
number of hires was little changed for total private. Hires increased in health care and social assistance 
(+48,000). 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.

The number of total separations was little changed at 5.5 million in May. The total separations rate was 
3.7 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private. Total separations 
decreased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-39,000) and state and local government education 
(-17,000). The number of total separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits increased in May to 3.6 million (+212,000). The quits rate was 2.4 percent. The 
number of quits rose for total private (+204,000) and was little changed for government. Quits increased 
in health care and social assistance (+55,000), finance and insurance (+21,000), and transportation, 
warehousing, and utilities (+20,000). The number of quits increased in the South region. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed at 1.6 million in May. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.1 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total 
private. Layoffs and discharges decreased in retail trade (-75,000), arts, entertainment, and recreation 
(-44,000), and state and local government education (-15,000). The number of layoffs and discharges 
decreased in the West region. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in May at 320,000. The number of other 
separations was little changed for total private and decreased for government (-13,000). Other 
separations decreased in finance and insurance (-19,000), state and local government education (-7,000), 
and federal government (-4,000). Other separations was little changed in all four 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 May, hires totaled 66.4 million and 
separations totaled 63.9 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.5 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 2018 are scheduled to be released 
on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: July 10, 2018