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Economic News Release
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JOLTS JLT Program Links

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, June 9, 2020	USDL-20-1185

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 – APRIL 2020

The number of total separations decreased by 4.8 million to 9.9 million in April, the U.S. Bureau of 
Labor Statistics reported today. Despite the over the month decline, the total separations level is the 
second highest in series history. Within separations, the quits rate fell to 1.4 percent and the layoffs and 
discharges rate decreased to 5.9 percent. Job openings decreased to 5.0 million on the last business day 
of April. Over the month, hires declined to 3.5 million, a series low. The changes in these measures 
reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. 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 April, the number of job openings declined to 5.0 million (-965,000). The 
job openings rate was little changed at 3.7 percent. Job openings fell in total private (-883,000) and in 
government (-82,000). Among the industries, the largest declines were in professional and business 
services (-309,000), health care and social assistance (-115,000), and retail trade (-113,000). The number 
of job openings decreased in all four regions. (See table 1.)
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|		      Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 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                   |
|[www.bls.gov/bls/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-april-2020.htm]                                 |
|_________________________________________________________________________________________________________|

Hires

In April, the number and rate of hires decreased to series lows of 3.5 million (-1,587,000) and 2.7 
percent, respectively. The hires level decreased for total private (-1,439,000) and for government  
(-148,000). Hires decreased in a number of industries, with the largest declines in professional and 
business services (-422,000), accommodation and food services (-247,000), and construction (-196,000). 
The number of hires decreased 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.

In April, the number and rate of total separations decreased to 9.9 million (-4,755,000) and 7.5 percent, 
respectively. Total separations decreased in many industries, with the largest decreases in 
accommodation and food services (-3,001,000), professional and business services  
(-473,000), and retail trade (-460,000). The number of total separations increased in real estate and 
rental and leasing (+47,000), state and local government, excluding education (+46,000), and 
information (+42,000). Total separations decreased in all four regions. (See table 3.)

In April, the number and rate of quits decreased to 1.8 million (-1,003,000) and 1.4 percent, 
respectively. Quits fell to 1.6 million (-976,000) for total private and 143,000 (-27,000) for government. 
Quits decreased in a number of industries, with the largest decreases in accommodation and food 
services (-249,000) and professional and business services (-216,000). The number of quits decreased in 
all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number and rate of layoffs and discharges decreased in April to 7.7 million (-3,773,000) and 5.9 
percent, respectively. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased for total private to 7.5 million  
(-3,816,000) but increased for government to 216,000 (+43,000). The layoffs and discharges level 
decreased significantly in several industries. The majority of the decline occurred in accommodation and 
food services (-2,738,000) followed by retail trade (-338,000). Layoffs and discharges increased in 
construction (+85,000), information (+53,000), and wholesale trade (+50,000). The number of layoffs 
and discharges decreased in all four regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in April. The other separations level was little 
changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in professional and business 
services (+29,000) and health care and social assistance (+19,000). The number of other separations 
decreased in accommodation and food services (-15,000). Other separations were 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 April, hires totaled 67.2 million and separations totaled 81.1 million, 
yielding a net employment loss of 13.9 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 May 2020 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 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 via our data collection website. However, data          |
|collection was adversely impacted due to the inability to reach some respondents that normally respond  |
|by phone. The JOLTS response rate for April was 44 percent, while response rates prior to the pandemic  |
|averaged 54 percent.                                                                                    |
|													 |
|BLS modified the JOLTS estimates for April 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 April        |
|estimates, however, BLS suspended the alignment process because 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 substantially different measurement outcomes. |
|For more information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the JOLTS survey, including more      |
|information about the JOLTS estimation methodology, please see                                          |
|https://www.bls.gov/bls/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-april-2020.htm                          |
|________________________________________________________________________________________________________|

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|                           Error in JOLTS federal government estimates                                     |
|                                                                                                           |
|BLS identified errors in the JOLTS federal government estimates for January 2020. These errors also affect |
|total nonfarm, government, and the regions. JOLTS has suppressed these data from the LABSTAT database.     |
|JOLTS plans to reissue the data, possibly with the release on July 7, 2020.                                |
|___________________________________________________________________________________________________________|

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Last Modified Date: June 24, 2020