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Economic News Release
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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Friday, January 17, 2020	USDL-20-0048

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 – NOVEMBER 2019

The number of job openings fell to 6.8 million (-561,000) on the last business day of November, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little 
changed at 5.8 million and 5.6 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 
2.3 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was little changed 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 November, the total nonfarm job openings level fell to 6.8 million 
(-561,000). The job openings rate decreased to 4.3 percent. The job openings level decreased for total 
private (-520,000) and edged down for government (-42,000). The largest decreases in job openings 
were in retail trade (-139,000) and construction (-112,000). The number of job openings fell in the South 
and Midwest regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of total nonfarm hires was little changed at 5.8 million in November. The hires rate was 
unchanged at 3.8 percent. The hires level was little changed in all industries and 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.

In November, the number of total nonfarm total separations was little changed at 5.6 million and the 
rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent. The number of total separations increased in retail trade (+103,000). 
Total separations decreased in other services (-53,000) and in federal government (-13,000). The total 
separations level was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of total nonfarm quits was little changed in November at 3.5 million and the rate was 
unchanged at 2.3 percent. Quits increased in retail trade (+118,000), wholesale trade (+26,000), and 
nondurable goods manufacturing (+19,000). Quits decreased in other services (-63,000). The number of 
quits increased in the South region. (See table 4.)

The number and rate of total nonfarm layoffs and discharges were little changed in November at 1.7 
million and 1.1 percent, respectively. The layoffs and discharges level was little changed for total private 
and edged down for government (-22,000). The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in federal 
government (-14,000). The layoffs and discharges level was little changed in all four regions. (See table 
5.)

The number of total nonfarm other separations was little changed in November. Other separations 
decreased in accommodation and food services (-13,000), real estate and rental and leasing (-5,000), and 
state and local government education (-5,000). The number of 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 November, hires totaled 69.8 million and separations totaled 67.5 million, 
yielding a net employment gain of 2.3 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 December 2019 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: January 17, 2020