Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 9, 2019	USDL-19-0610

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                         JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – FEBRUARY 2019

The number of job openings fell to 7.1 million on the last business day of February, the U.S. Bureau of 
Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.7 million 
and 5.6 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent and the 
layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.2 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 February, the job openings level fell to 7.1 million (-538,000). The job 
openings rate was 4.5 percent. The number of job openings fell for total private (-523,000) and was little 
changed for government. Job openings decreased in a number of industries, with the largest decreases in 
accommodation and food services (-103,000), real estate and rental and leasing (-72,000), and 
transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-66,000). The number of job openings fell in the Northeast, 
South, and Midwest regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.7 million in February. The hires rate was 3.8 percent. The 
hires level was little changed for total private and fell for government (-40,000). The number of hires 
decreased in construction (-73,000), nondurable goods manufacturing (-33,000), and state and local 
government education (-22,000). 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 February. 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 educational services (+30,000), but decreased in nondurable goods 
manufacturing (-32,000) and real estate and rental and leasing (-26,000). The number of total 
separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed in February at 3.5 million. The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The 
quits level was little changed for total private and for government. Quits increased in educational 
services (+23,000) but decreased in real estate and rental and leasing (-15,000). The number of quits was 
little changed in all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in February at 1.7 million. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.2 percent. The layoffs and discharges level was little changed for total private and 
for government. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in federal government (-4,000). 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 February. The other separations level was little 
changed for total private and edged up for government (+9,000). Other separations increased in federal 
government (+5,000), but decreased in construction (-13,000) and real estate and rental and leasing 
(-6,000). The number of other separations fell in the South region. (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 February, hires totaled 69.3 million 
and separations totaled 66.6 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.7 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 March 2019 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: April 09, 2019