U.S. Employment Trends

U.S. Job Openings Rise to Series High of 5.8 Million in July

Job openings again rose to a series high of 5.8 million on the last business day of July. Hires and separations edged down to 5.0 million and 4.7 million, respectively. The quits rate was 1.9 percent for the fourth month in a row, and the layoffs and discharges rate declined to 1.1 percent.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – JULY 2015

The number of job openings again rose to a series high of 5.8 million on the last business day of July,
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of hires and separations edged down to
5.0 million and 4.7 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was 1.9 percent for the fourth
month in a row, and the layoffs and discharges rate declined to 1.1 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 increased to a new series high in July, reaching 5.8 million. The prior series high was 5.4
million in May 2015. The series began in December 2000. The job openings rate for July rose to 3.9
percent after measuring 3.6 percent in the prior 3 months. The number of job openings rose in July for
total private and was little changed for government. Several industries experienced a rise in openings in
July: professional and business services (+122,000), accommodation and food services (+82,000), retail
trade (+77,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (+27,000). In the regions, the number of openings
rose in the Northeast (+154,000) and South (+141,000). (See table 1.)

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in July for
total nonfarm and total private. The number of job openings for government was little changed. Job
openings rose over the year for many industries with the largest increases occurring in professional and
business services (+452,000), health care and social assistance (+174,000), accommodation and food
services (+141,000), and retail trade (+136,000). Job openings decreased over the year in mining and
logging (-8,000). The number of job openings increased over the year in all four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

The number of hires was 5.0 million in July, edging down from June. The hires rate was 3.5 percent.
The number of hires edged down for total private and was little changed for government in July. 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 July, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for
total nonfarm and total private, and rose for government. At the industry level, hires increased in
accommodation and food services (+113,000) and in federal government (+13,000), but decreased in
construction (-109,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-37,000). The number of hires was
little changed in 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 July, edging down from June. The separations rate was 3.3
percent. The number of total separations edged down for total private and was little changed for
government. Total separations decreased in July in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-38,000) and in
the West region (-184,000), but was little changed in the other industries and regions over the month.
(See table 3.)

There were 2.7 million quits in July, little changed from June. Although the number of quits has been
increasing overall since the end of the recession, the number has held between 2.7 million and 2.8
million for the past 11 months. The quits rate was unchanged in July, measuring 1.9 percent for the
fourth month in a row. The number of quits was little changed for total private and unchanged for
government over the month. Quits fell in professional and business services (-57,000) and in the West
region (-107,000), and was little changed in the other industries and regions in July. (See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in July for total
nonfarm, total private, and government. Over the year, quits increased in accommodation and food
services (+101,000), state and local government (+27,000), and educational services (+23,000). Quits
decreased over the year in finance and insurance (-25,000) and in nondurable goods manufacturing
(-18,000). In the regions, quits increased in the South (+168,000) and Northeast (+67,000), but fell in the
West (-85,000). (See table 10.)

There were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in July, edging down from June. The layoffs and
discharges rate fell to 1.1 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges edged down over the month for
total private and was little changed for government. The number was little changed 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) edged down over the 12 months ending
in July for total nonfarm and total private, and was little changed for government. The number of layoffs
and discharges rose over the year in mining and logging (+8,000) and in federal government (+5,000),
but fell in construction (-90,000) and educational services (-23,000). The number of layoffs and
discharges fell over the year in the Northeast region (-138,000) and was little changed in the other
regions. (See table 11.)

In July, there were 413,000 other separations for total nonfarm, about the same as in June. Over the
month, the number of other separations was little changed for total private at 341,000 and increased for
government to 72,000. (See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not available
for individual industries or regions.

Over the 12 months ending in July, the number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) increased
for total nonfarm (+64,000) and for government (+12,000), and edged up for total private (+52,000).
Other separations increased over the year in several industries, with the largest changes occurring in
construction (+17,000), health care and social assistance (+16,000), and accommodation and food
services (+15,000). Other separations decreased over the year in nondurable goods manufacturing
(-10,000). In the regions, other separations increased in the Midwest (+33,000) and was little changed in
the other 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 July 2015, hires totaled 60.6 million
and separations totaled 57.8 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.7 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 August 2015 are scheduled to be
released on Friday, October 16, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).






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