Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, January 10, 2017	USDL-17-0033

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                         JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – NOVEMBER 2016

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.5 million on the last business day of November, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were also little 
changed at 5.2 million and 5.0 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 
2.1 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 November, there were 5.5 million job openings, little changed from 
October. The job openings rate was 3.7 percent in November. The number of job openings was little 
changed for total private and increased for government (+48,000). Job openings increased in state and 
local government, excluding education (+32,000), and state and local government education (+17,000). 
The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires was essentially unchanged at 5.2 million in November. The hires rate was 3.6 
percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. Hires increased in 
state and local government education (+19,000) but decreased in retail trade (-71,000). 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.

There were 5.0 million total separations in November, little changed from October. The total 
separations rate in November was 3.5 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for 
total private and for government. Total separations were little changed in all industries and in all four 
regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed in November at 3.1 million. The quits rate was 2.1 percent. Over 
the month, the number of quits was little changed for total private and for government. Quits increased 
in construction (+32,000), wholesale trade (+20,000), and educational services (+9,000). The number of 
quits was little changed in all four regions. (See table 4.)

There were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in November, essentially unchanged from October. The 
layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.1 percent in November. The number of layoffs and 
discharges was little changed for total private and for government. The layoffs and discharges levels 
were little changed in all industries and all four regions. (See table 5.)

In November, the number of other separations edged down for total nonfarm (-47,000) and for total 
private (-43,000). Other separations was little changed for government. Other separations decreased in 
retail trade (-27,000) and mining and logging (-3,000). The number of other separations decreased in the 
Midwest region (-28,000). (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 62.7 million 
and separations totaled 60.3 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.4 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 December 2016 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: January 10, 2017