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Economic News Release
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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, October 9, 2019		USDL-19-1772

Technical information:	(202) 691-5870  •  JoltsInfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/jlt
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                             JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – AUGUST 2019

The number of job openings was little changed at 7.1 million on the last business day of August, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires edged down to 5.8 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 1.2 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 August, the job openings level was little changed at 7.1 million. The job 
openings rate was 4.4 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and for 
government. The job openings level decreased in nondurable goods manufacturing (-49,000) and in 
information (-47,000). The number of job openings decreased in the Midwest region. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires edged down to 5.8 million (-199,000) in August. The hires rate was 3.8 percent. 
The number of hires edged down for total private (-219,000) and was little changed for government. The 
hires level increased in federal government (+35,000). The number of hires decreased in the South 
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 5.6 million in August. The total separations rate 
was 3.7 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and for government. 
The total separations level was little changed in all industries. The number of total separations decreased 
in the Midwest region. (See table 3.)

The number of quits decreased in August to 3.5 million (-142,000). The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The 
quits level decreased for total private (-144,000) and was little changed for government. Quits 
decreased in professional and business services (-76,000) and in other services (-67,000). The number of 
quits decreased in the Midwest region. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in August at 1.8 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 increased in federal government (+3,000). The 
layoffs and discharges level was little changed in all four regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in August. The other separations level was also 
little changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in arts, entertainment, 
and recreation (+3,000). 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 August, hires totaled 69.5 million and 
separations totaled 67.1 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.4 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 2019 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).
     

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Last Modified Date: October 09, 2019