Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, July 9, 2019	USDL-19-1249

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                            JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – MAY 2019

The number of job openings was little changed at 7.3 million on the last business day of May, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires fell to 5.7 million and separations 
edged down to 5.5 million. Within separations, the quits and the layoffs and discharges rates were 
unchanged at 2.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. 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 May, the job openings level was little changed at 7.3 million. The job 
openings rate was 4.6 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and 
decreased for government (-54,000). The job openings level increased in other services (+77,000). Job 
openings decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in construction (-65,000), 
transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-60,000), and real estate and rental and leasing (-49,000). The 
number of job openings increased in the Northeast region. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires decreased to 5.7 million (-266,000) in May. The hires rate was 3.8 percent. The 
hires level fell for total private (-262,000) and was little changed for government. Hires decreased in 
professional and business services (-129,000). 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 edged down to 5.5 million (-192,000) in May. The total separations 
rate was 3.6 percent. The number of total separations edged down for total private (-204,000) and was 
little changed for government. The total separations level decreased in professional and business 
services (-95,000). The number of total separations decreased in the South region. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed in May at 3.4 million. The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The quits 
level edged down for total private (-117,000) and increased for government (+25,000). Quits decreased 
in professional and business services (-92,000) and real estate and rental and leasing (-16,000), but 
increased in state and local government education (+18,000). The number of quits decreased in the 
South region. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in May 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 arts, entertainment, and recreation 
(+36,000). The layoffs and discharges level fell in the South region. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in May. The other separations level was little 
changed for total private and for government. Other separations decreased in professional and business 
services (-26,000), information (-10,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (-7,000). The other 
separations level increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+8,000). The number of other 
separations fell in the West 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 May, hires totaled 69.5 million and 
separations totaled 66.9 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.6 million. These totals include 
workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
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The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates for June 2019 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: July 09, 2019