Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, May 8, 2018	USDL-18-0742

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                         JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – MARCH 2018

The number of job openings increased to 6.6 million on the last business day of March, the U.S. Bureau 
of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.4 
million and 5.3 million, respectively. 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 March, the job openings level increased to a series high of 6.6 million. The 
series began in December 2000. The job openings rate was 4.2 percent in March. The number of job 
openings increased for total private and edged up for government. Job openings increased in a number 
of industries, with the largest increases in professional and business services (+112,000), construction 
(+68,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+37,000). The number of job openings 
increased in the Northeast and Midwest regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.4 million in March. The hires rate was 3.7 percent. The 
number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. Hires decreased in finance and 
insurance (-32,000). 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 5.3 million in March. The total separations rate 
was 3.6 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and for government. 
Total separations decreased in finance and insurance (-34,000). The number of total separations was 
little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits edged up to 3.3 million in March. The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The number of 
quits edged up for total private and was unchanged for government. Quits increased in other services 
(+71,000). The number of quits increased in the Midwest region. (See table 4.)

There were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in March, little changed from February. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.1 percent in March. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for 
total private and for government. Layoffs and discharges decreased in health care and social assistance 
(-35,000). 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 March at 382,000. The number of other 
separations was little changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in retail 
trade (+20,000) but decreased in educational services (-5,000). 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 March, hires totaled 65.7 million and 
separations totaled 63.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.3 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 April 2018 are scheduled to be released 
on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: May 08, 2018