Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, June 9, 2015      USDL-15-1131

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                         JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – APRIL 2015

The number of job openings rose to 5.4 million on the last business day of April, the highest since the 
series began in December 2000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of hires 
was little changed at 5.0 million in April and the number of separations was little changed at 4.9 million. 
Within separations, the quits rate was 1.9 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was 1.3 percent, 
both little different from the previous month. 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 rose to 5.4 million on the last business day of April, the highest point since the series 
began in December 2000. The job openings rate for April 2015 was 3.7 percent. The number of job 
openings increased for total private and was essentially unchanged for government. At the industry 
level, job openings rose over the month in health care and social assistance but fell in arts, 
entertainment, and recreation. In the regions, job openings increased in the West. (See table 1.)

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in April for 
total nonfarm, total private, and government. Job openings increased over the year for many industries 
with the largest changes occurring in professional and business services and in health care and social 
assistance. Job openings decreased over the year in mining and logging and in arts, entertainment, and 
recreation. 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 April, little changed from March. The hires rate was 3.5 percent. 
The number of hires was little changed for total private and government in April. 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 April, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for 
total nonfarm and total private, and increased for government. At the industry level, hires increased in 
accommodation and food services and in state and local government. The number of hires decreased 
over the year in mining and logging and in arts, entertainment, and recreation. The number of hires was 
essentially unchanged over the year 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 4.9 million total separations in April, little changed from March. The separations rate was 
3.5 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and government, and in 
all industries and regions over the month. (See table 3.)

There were 2.7 million quits in April, little changed from March. The quits rate in April was 1.9 
percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and government over the month. The 
number of quits did not increase over the month for any industries, but fell in retail trade and in 
accommodation and food services. In all four regions, the number of quits was little changed in April. 
(See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in April for total 
nonfarm, total private, and government. Over the year, quits increased in several industries with the 
largest rises occurring in durable goods manufacturing; finance and insurance; and health care and social 
assistance. The number of quits increased over the year in the South region. (See table 10.)

There were 1.8 million layoffs and discharges in April, about the same as in March. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.3 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed over the month 
for total private and government, and 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) was little changed over the 12 months 
ending in April for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of layoffs and discharges 
increased over the year in mining and logging and in accommodation and food services, but decreased in 
health care and social assistance. There was little change in layoffs and discharges over the year in all 
four regions. (See table 11.)

In April, there were 395,000 other separations for total nonfarm, about the same as in March. Over the 
month, the number of other separations was little changed for total private at 326,000 and for 
government at 69,000. (See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not available 
for individual industries or regions.

Over the 12 months ending in April, the number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) was 
little changed for total nonfarm, total private, and government, and in all industries and 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 April 2015, hires totaled 60.0 million 
and separations totaled 57.2 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.8 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 May 2015 are scheduled to be released 
on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: June 09, 2015