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Economic News Release
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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Tuesday, October 6, 2020		USDL-20-1883
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 – AUGUST 2020

The number of job openings was little changed at 6.5 million on the last business day of August, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 5.9 million in August. Total 
separations decreased to 4.6 million. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.0 percent 
while the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to a series low of 1.0 percent. 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 August, the number and rate of job openings were little changed at 6.5 
million and 4.4 percent, respectively. Over the month, the number of job openings edged down for total 
private (-242,000) and was little changed for government. Job openings decreased in construction  
(-68,000), and information (-25,000). The number of job openings decreased in the Midwest region. 
(See table 1.)
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
|		Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 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 at 	|
|www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-august-2020.htm.			|
|_______________________________________________________________________________________________|

The number of job openings in August (not seasonally adjusted) decreased over the year to 6.6 million  
(-685,000) reflecting the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market. Job 
openings increased over the year for federal government reflecting recruitment efforts related to the 
2020 Census. Nondurable goods manufacturing job openings also grew since August 2019. Job 
openings decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in accommodation and food 
services and in transportation, warehousing, and utilities. The number of job openings decreased in all 
four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

In August, the number and rate of hires were little changed at 5.9 million and 4.2 percent, respectively. 
Hires increased in federal government (+246,000), largely because of temporary 2020 Census hiring. 
Hires also increased in durable goods manufacturing (+41,000). Hires decreased in accommodation and 
food services (-177,000), health care and social assistance (-73,000), and real estate and rental and 
leasing (-28,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions. (See table 2.)

The number of hires in August (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the year. Hires 
increased in a number of industries over the year, with the largest increases in federal government and 
retail trade. Hires decreased in accommodation and food services and in state and local government 
education. The number of hires was little changed in all four regions. (See table 8.)

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 August, the number and rate of total separations decreased to 4.6 million (-394,000) and 3.3 percent, 
respectively. Total separations decreased in other services (-80,000) and in arts, entertainment, and 
recreation (-56,000). The number of total separations increased in federal government (+13,000). Total 
separations decreased in the West region. (See table 3.)

Over the year, the number of total separations (not seasonally adjusted) decreased to 5.5 million  
(-1,248,000). Total separations decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in 
accommodation and food services and in professional and business services. Total separations increased 
in federal government. The number of total separations decreased in all four regions. (See table 9.)

In August, the number of quits edged down to 2.8 million (-139,000) and the quits rate was 2.0 
percent. Quits decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in other services (-48,000), 
construction (-40,000), and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-18,000). The number of quits increased in 
finance and insurance (+36,000). The number of quits decreased in the Midwest region.  
(See table 4.)

Over the year, the number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) decreased to 3.6 million (-838,000). Quits 
declined in several industries, with the largest decreases in accommodation and food services and in 
professional and business services. Over the year, the number of quits decreased in all four regions. (See 
table 10.)

The number and rate of layoffs and discharges decreased to series lows of 1.5 million (-272,000) and 
1.0 percent, respectively in August. Layoffs and discharges decreased in a few industries, with the 
largest decreases in professional and business services (-95,000), accommodation and food services  
(-62,000), and durable goods manufacturing (-42,000). The number of layoffs and discharges increased 
in federal government (+12,000). The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in the South and West 
regions. (See table 5.)

Over the year, the layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) decreased to 1.6 million  
(-418,000). Layoffs and discharges decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in 
professional and business services and in other services. The number of layoffs and discharges increased 
in health care and social assistance and in federal government. The number of layoffs and discharges 
decreased over the year in the Northeast and South regions. (See table 11.)

The number of other separations was little changed in August at 328,000. Other separations decreased 
in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-17,000) and nondurable goods manufacturing (-5,000). 
Other separations increased in other services (+13,000). Other separations was little changed in all four 
regions. (See table 6.)

Over the year, the other separations level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed at 350,000. Other 
separations increased in other services and federal government. The number of other separations 
decreased in wholesale trade. The number of other separations was little changed in all four regions. 
(See table 12.)

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 August, hires totaled 70.4 million and separations totaled 77.4 million, 
yielding a net employment loss of 7.0 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 September 2020 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|				     Changes to JOLTS Series Codes					|
|													|
|JOLTS has changed the structure of its series codes to allow for the publication of establishment size |
|class data, the future publication of state data, and potential publication of Metropolitan Statistical|
|Area (MSA) data. These changes became effective today. For more information on these changes, please 	|
|visit www.bls.gov/jlt/jlt_series_changes.htm.								|
|_______________________________________________________________________________________________________|

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|   Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on August 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. However, data collection was adversely impacted due to|
|the inability to reach some respondents that normally respond by phone. The JOLTS response rate for 	|
|August was 47 percent, while response rates prior to the pandemic averaged 54 percent.			|
|													|
|BLS modified the JOLTS estimation methods in March through August 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 August estimates, as in earlier months, BLS suspended the alignment process. 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. More information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the JOLTS|
|survey, including information about the JOLTS estimation methodology, is available at 			|
|www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-august-2020.htm.				|
|_______________________________________________________________________________________________________|

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Last Modified Date: October 07, 2020