Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, June 6, 2017	USDL-17-0768

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 2017

The number of job openings increased to a series high of 6.0 million on the last business day of April, 
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires decreased to 5.1 million and 
separations edged down to 5.0 million. Within separations, the quits rate and the layoffs and discharges 
rate were little changed at 2.1 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. 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 April, the job openings level increased to a series high of 6.0 million 
(+259,000). The job openings rate was 4.0 percent. The number of job openings edged up for total 
private (+220,000) and increased for government (+39,000). Job openings increased in a number of 
industries with the largest increase occurring in accommodation and food services (+118,000). Job 
openings decreased in durable goods manufacturing (-30,000). The number of job openings increased in 
the Midwest and Northeast regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires fell to 5.1 million (-253,000) in April. The hires rate was 3.5 percent. The number 
of hires decreased for total private (-257,000) and was little changed for government. Hires decreased in 
health care and social assistance (-68,000) and real estate and rental and leasing (-23,000). The number 
of hires decreased in the West 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 edged down to 5.0 million (-225,000) in April. The total separations 
rate was 3.4 percent. Total separations decreased for total private (-239,000) and was little changed for 
government. Total separations increased in state and local government education (+17,000) but 
decreased in retail trade (-100,000). The number of total separations was little changed in all four 
regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits edged down to 3.0 million (-111,000) in April. The quits rate was 2.1 percent. The 
number of quits was little changed for total private and decreased for government (-21,000). Quits 
decreased in retail trade (-72,000); state and local government, excluding education (-20,000); and 
information (-12,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four regions. (See table 4.)

There were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in April, little changed from March. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.1 percent in April. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for 
total private and increased for government (+32,000). The layoffs and discharges level increased in state 
and local government, excluding education (+20,000) and in state and local government education 
(+12,000). Layoffs and discharges decreased in real estate and rental and leasing (-23,000). The number 
of layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in April. Other separations edged down for total 
private (-46,000) and was little changed for government. Other separations increased in state and local 
government education (+5,000) but decreased in professional and business services (-32,000). In the 
regions, the number of other separations decreased in the Midwest. (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 62.9 million and 
separations totaled 60.7 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.2 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 May 2017 are scheduled to be released 
on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: June 06, 2017