Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Monday, December 10, 2018	USDL-18-1936

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                         JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – OCTOBER 2018

The number of job openings was little changed at 7.1 million on the last business day of October, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires edged up to 5.9 million, and 
separations were little changed at 5.6 million. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.3 
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 October, the job openings level was little changed at 7.1 million. The job 
openings rate was 4.5 percent in October. The number of job openings was little changed for total 
private and for government. Job openings increased in information (+45,000), real estate and rental and 
leasing (+38,000), educational services (+20,000), and state and local government education (+17,000). 
The number of job openings decreased in state and local government, excluding education (-38,000) and 
transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-33,000). Job openings were little changed in all four regions. 
(See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires edged up to 5.9 million (+196,000) in October, nearly matching its series high in 
August. The hires rate was 3.9 percent in October. The number of hires was little changed for total 
private and for government. Hires increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+90,000) and 
durable goods manufacturing (+43,000), but decreased in mining and logging (-11,000). The number of 
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.

The number of total separations was little changed at 5.6 million in October. The total separations rate 
was 3.7 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and for government. 
Total separations increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+37,000). The number of total 
separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed in October at 3.5 million. The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The 
number of quits was little changed for total private and unchanged for government. Quits increased in 
health care and social assistance (+33,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+30,000), and 
educational services (+12,000). The number of quits decreased in other services (-39,000). Quits 
decreased in the Northeast region. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in October at 1.7 million. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.1 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total 
private and for government. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in all industries 
and regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in October at 351,000. The other separations level 
was little changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in construction 
(+18,000). The number of other separations decreased in a number of industries, with the largest 
decreases in health care and social assistance (-17,000) and arts, entertainment, and recreation  
(-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 October, hires totaled 67.8 million and 
separations totaled 65.3 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.5 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 November 2018 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: December 10, 2018