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Economic News Release
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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Tuesday, November 10, 2020	USDL-20-2088
Technical information:	(202) 691-5870  •  JoltsInfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/jlt
Media contact:		(202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov

                              JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – SEPTEMBER 2020

The number of job openings was little changed at 6.4 million on the last business day of September, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and total separations were little changed at 5.9 
million and 4.7 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.1 percent 
while the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to a series low of 0.9 percent. This release includes 
estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by 
industry, and by four geographic regions.
   
Job Openings

On the last business day of September, the number of job openings was little changed at 6.4 million. 
The job openings rate was unchanged at 4.3 percent. Job openings decreased in federal government  
(-20,000). The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions. (See table 1.)
The number of job openings in September (not seasonally adjusted) decreased over the year to 6.6 
million (-566,000) reflecting the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market. Job 
openings decreased in a number of industries with the largest in accommodation and food services, retail 
trade, and construction. The number of job openings decreased in the Midwest and West regions. (See 
table 7.)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|                  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on September 2020 JOLTS Data                    |
|													  |
|Data collection for the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey was affected by the coronavirus 	  |
|(COVID-19) pandemic. More information is available at the end of this news release and at 		  |
|www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-september-2020.htm.			  |
|_________________________________________________________________________________________________________|

Hires

In September, the number and rate of hires were little changed at 5.9 million and 4.1 percent, 
respectively. Hires decreased in federal government (-256,000), largely due to a drop in demand for 
temporary 2020 Census workers. Hires also decreased in retail trade (-105,000) and educational services 
(-23,000). The number of hires increased in accommodation and food services (+137,000), wholesale 
trade (+73,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+46,000). The number of hires was little 
changed in all four regions. (See table 2.)

The number of hires in September (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the year. Hires 
increased in a number of industries over the year, with the largest increases in other services and in 
transportation, warehousing, and utilities. Hires decreased in state and local government education and 
in arts, entertainment, and recreation. The number of hires decreased in the South region. (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, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.

In September, the number of total separations was little changed at 4.7 million. The total separations 
rate was unchanged at 3.3 percent. The total separations level increased in other services (+77,000). 
Total separations also increased in federal government (+31,000), largely the result of temporary 2020 
Census workers. Total separations were little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

Over the year, the number of total separations (not seasonally adjusted) decreased to 5.0 million  
(-1.1 million). Total separations decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in 
accommodation and food services and in professional and business services. Total separations increased 
in federal government. The number of total separations decreased in all four regions. (See table 9.)

In September, the number of quits increased to 3.0 million (+179,000) and the quits rate was little 
changed at 2.1 percent. Quits increased in other services (+65,000), construction (+39,000), and arts, 
entertainment, and recreation (+17,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four regions. 
(See table 4.)  

Over the year, the number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) decreased to 3.3 million 
(-356,000). Quits declined in several industries, with the largest decreases in accommodation and food 
services and in arts, entertainment, and recreation. The quits level increased in nondurable goods 
manufacturing. Over the year, the number of quits decreased in the Midwest and West regions. (See 
table 10.)

The number and rate of layoffs and discharges decreased to 1.3 million (-200,000) and 0.9 percent, 
respectively in September. The layoffs and discharges level decreased in construction (-102,000) and 
wholesale trade (-40,000). The number of layoffs and discharges increased in federal government 
(+37,000), largely due to the release of temporary 2020 Census workers. Layoffs and discharges were 
little changed in all four regions. (See table 5.)

Over the year, the layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) decreased to 1.4 million  
(-720,000). Layoffs and discharges decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in 
accommodation and food services and in professional and business services. The number of layoffs and 
discharges increased in federal government. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased over the 
year in the Northeast, South, and West regions. (See table 11.)

The number of other separations was little changed in September at 314,000. Other separations 
decreased in federal government (-5,000) and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-3,000). Other 
separations were little changed in all four regions. (See table 6.)

Over the year, the other separations level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed at 298,000. Other 
separations decreased in federal government. The number of other separations was little changed in all 
four 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 September, hires totaled 70.4 million and separations totaled 76.4 million, 
yielding a net employment loss of 6.0 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 estimates for October 2020 are scheduled to be 
released on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|                        Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on September 2020			 |
|                              Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Data				 |
|													 |
|Data collection for the JOLTS survey was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While 42	 |
|percent of data are usually collected by phone at the JOLTS data collection center, most phone 	 |
|respondents were asked to report electronically. However, data collection was adversely impacted due to |
|the inability to reach some respondents that normally respond by phone. The JOLTS response rate for 	 |
|September was 47 percent, while response rates prior to the pandemic averaged 54 percent.		 |
|													 |
|BLS modified the JOLTS estimation methods in March through September to better reflect the impact of the| 
|coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The estimation process usually includes an alignment of monthly hires  |
|minus separations to the over-the-month change in the Current Employment Statistics (CES) employment 	 |
|estimates. For September estimates, as in earlier months, BLS suspended the alignment process. The 	 |
|differing reference periods for the CES employment estimates (pay period including the 12th of the 	 |
|month) and the JOLTS hires and separations estimates (the entire reference month) led to different 	 |
|measurement outcomes. More information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the JOLTS survey, 	 |
|including information about the JOLTS estimation methodology, is available at 				 |
|www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-september-2020.htm.			 |
|________________________________________________________________________________________________________|

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Last Modified Date: November 10, 2020