Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, January 9, 2018	USDL-18-0036

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                         JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – NOVEMBER 2017

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.9 million 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 5.5 million and 5.2 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 
2.2 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was little changed 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 5.9 million job openings, little changed from 
October. The job openings rate was 3.8 percent in November. The number of job openings was little 
changed for total private and for government. Job openings increased in retail trade (+88,000) but 
decreased in other services (-64,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-60,000), and real estate 
and rental and leasing (-39,000). The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions. (See 
table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.5 million in November. The hires rate was 3.7 percent. The 
number of hires was little changed for total private and increased for government (+43,000). Hires 
increased in state and local government, excluding education (+29,000) and state and local government 
education (+18,000). The number of hires decreased in the Northeast region. (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.

The number of total separations was little changed at 5.2 million in November. The total separations 
rate was 3.5 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and for 
government. Total separations increased in state and local government, excluding education (+21,000) 
but decreased in other services (-69,000) and real estate and rental and leasing (-27,000). The number of 
total separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed at 3.2 million in November. The quits rate was 2.2 percent. The 
number of quits was little changed for total private and increased for government (+25,000). Quits 
increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+25,000) and state and local government, 
excluding education (+15,000). Quits decreased in other services (-49,000), real estate and rental and 
leasing (-21,000), and mining and logging (-6,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four 
regions. (See table 4.)

There were 1.7 million layoffs and discharges in November, little changed from October. The layoffs 
and discharges rate was 1.1 percent in November. The number of layoffs and discharges was little 
changed for total private, for government, and in all industries. The number of layoffs and discharges 
decreased in the Midwest region. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in November at 341,000. The number of other 
separations was little changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in state 
and local government, excluding education (+8,000) and arts, entertainment, and recreation (+4,000). 
Other separations decreased in accommodation and food services (-15,000) and federal government 
(-6,000). 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 64.6 million 
and separations totaled 62.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.1 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 December 2017 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: January 09, 2018