U.S. Employment Trends

U.S. Job Openings Hit a New High of 6.9 Million - Hires and Separations Little Changed in July

Job openings reached a new series high of 6.9 million on the last business day of July. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.7 million and 5.5 million, respectively.
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U.S. Job Openings Hit a New High of 6.9 Million - Hires and Separations Little Changed in July

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – JULY 2018

The number of job openings was little changed at 6.9 million on the last business day of July, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at
5.7 million and 5.5 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.4
percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 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

On the last business day of July, the job openings level was little changed but reached a new series high
of 6.9 million. The job openings rate was 4.4 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for
total private and for government. Job openings increased in finance and insurance (+46,000) and
nondurable goods manufacturing (+32,000) but decreased in retail trade (-85,000), educational services
(-34,000), and federal government (-19,000). The number of job openings was little changed in all four
regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.7 million in July. The hires rate was 3.8 percent. The
number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. Hires decreased in finance and
insurance (-36,000). 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 July. The total separations rate was
3.7 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and for government.
Total separations increased in educational services (+26,000) but decreased in arts, entertainment, and
recreation (-43,000). Total separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed in July at 3.6 million. The quits rate was 2.4 percent. The
number of quits edged up for total private (+109,000) and was little changed for government. Quits
increased in accommodation and food services (+61,000), other services (+49,000), and educational
services (+12,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed at 1.6 million in July. The layoffs and
discharges rate was 1.1 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total
private and for government. Layoffs and discharges increased in retail trade (+53,000) but decreased in
arts, entertainment, and recreation (-40,000). The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in
all four regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in July at 349,000. The other separations level was
little changed for total private and for government. Other separations were little changed in all
industries. The number of other separations decreased in the Northeast region. (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 July, hires totaled 66.7 million and
separations totaled 64.2 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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