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Economic News Release
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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Tuesday, February 9, 2021	USDL-21-0225
Technical information:	(202) 691-5870  •  JoltsInfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/jlt
Media contact:		(202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov

			      JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – DECEMBER 2020

The number of job openings was little changed at 6.6 million on the last business day of December, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires decreased to 5.5 million while total separations 
were little changed at 5.5 million. Within separations, the quits rate and layoffs and discharges rate were 
little changed at 2.3 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. This release includes estimates of the number 
and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, and by four 
geographic regions.
   
Job Openings

On the last business day of December, the number and rate of job openings were little changed at 6.6 
million and 4.5 percent, respectively. Job openings increased in professional and business services 
(+296,000). Job openings decreased in state and local government, excluding education (-65,000); arts, 
entertainment, and recreation (-50,000); and nondurable goods manufacturing (-30,000). The number of 
job openings was little changed in all four regions. (See table 1.)

Over the year, the number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed in December. Job 
openings decreased in a number of industries over the year with the largest decreases in state and local 
government, excluding education; arts, entertainment, and recreation; and information. The job openings
level increased in a number of industries over the year with the largest increases in professional and 
business services; nondurable goods manufacturing; and transportation, warehousing, and utilities. The 
number of job openings increased in the South region. (See table 7.)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|		     Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on December 2020 JOLTS Data			  |
|													  |
|Data collection for the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey was affected by the coronavirus 	  |
|(COVID-19) pandemic. More information is available at the end of this news release and at 		  |
|www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-december-2020.htm.				  |
|_________________________________________________________________________________________________________|

Hires

In December, the number of hires decreased to 5.5 million (-396,000), and the hires rate decreased to 
3.9 percent. Hires decreased in accommodation and food services (-221,000); transportation, 
warehousing, and utilities (-133,000); and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-82,000). Hires increased 
in retail trade (+94,000). The number of hires decreased in the South region. (See table 2.)

The number of hires in December (not seasonally adjusted) edged down over the year (-237,000). Hires 
decreased in accommodation and food services; arts, entertainment, and recreation; and educational 
services. Hires increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in wholesale trade, 
nondurable goods manufacturing, and durable goods manufacturing. The number of hires decreased in 
the West region. (See table 8.)

Separations

Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. 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.

In December, the number of total separations was little changed at 5.5 million, and the total separations 
rate was little changed at 3.8 percent. The total separations level decreased in federal government  
(-86,000). Total separations increased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+68,000). Total separations 
were little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

Over the year, the number of total separations (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed. Total 
separations increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in accommodation and food 
services; nondurable goods manufacturing; and state and local government, excluding education. Total 
separations decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities and in mining and logging. The 
number of total separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 9.)

In December, the quits level and rate were little changed at 3.3 million and 2.3 percent, respectively. 
The number of quits decreased in federal government (-4,000). The number of quits increased in the 
Midwest region. (See table 4.)

Over the year, the number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed. Quits decreased in 
accommodation and food services and state and in local government education. Quits increased in 
durable goods manufacturing. The number of quits decreased in the West region. (See table 10.)

The number of layoffs and discharges decreased to 1.8 million (-243,000) in December. The layoffs 
and discharges rate was little changed at 1.3 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in 
a number of industries with the largest decreases in federal government (-87,000); transportation, 
warehousing, and utilities (-52,000); and health care and social assistance (-42,000). Layoffs and 
discharges increased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+50,000). Layoffs and discharges decreased 
in the Midwest region. (See table 5.)

Over the year, the layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed. Layoffs and 
discharges increased in accommodation and food services; educational services; and state and local 
government, excluding education. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in a number of 
industries with the largest decreases in construction; transportation, warehousing, and utilities; and retail 
trade. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased over the year in the South region. (See table 11.)

The number of other separations increased in December to 362,000 (+74,000). Other separations 
increased in a number of industries with the largest increases in health care and social assistance 
(+15,000); state and local government, excluding education (+8,000); and nondurable goods 
manufacturing (+7,000). The other separations level increased in the South region. (See table 6.)

Over the year, the other separations level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed. Other separations 
decreased in durable goods manufacturing. The number of other separations increased in federal 
government and in educational services. The number of other separations was little changed in all four 
regions. (See table 12.)

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 December, hires totaled 70.2 million and separations totaled 75.7 million, 
yielding a net employment loss of 5.5 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 estimates for January 2021 are scheduled to be 
released on Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|			     Upcoming Revisions to the JOLTS Estimates					  |
|													  |
|As part of an annual process, the January 2021 release on March 11, 2021 will incorporate the annual     |
|updates to the Current Employment Statistics employment estimates and the JOLTS seasonal adjustment 	  |
|factors. Unadjusted data and seasonally adjusted data from January 2016 forward are subject to revision. |
|_________________________________________________________________________________________________________|

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
|													  |
|		      Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on December 2020				  |
| 			    Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Data					  |
|													  |
|Data collection for the JOLTS survey was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While 42 	  |
|percent of data are usually collected by phone at the JOLTS data collection center, most phone 	  |
|respondents were asked to report electronically. However, data collection was adversely impacted due to  |
|the inability to reach some respondents that normally respond by phone. The JOLTS response rate for      |
|December was 42 percent, while response rates prior to the pandemic averaged 54 percent.		  |
|													  |
|For the December preliminary and the November final JOLTS estimates, suppression of the alignment 	  |  
|process has been discontinued. The differences between the JOLTS hires minus separations and CES over	  |  
|the month employment changes are no longer significantly different. More information about the impact of |  
|the COVID-19 pandemic on the JOLTS survey, including information about the JOLTS estimation methodology, | 
|is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-december-2020.htm.	  	  |
|_________________________________________________________________________________________________________|  

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Last Modified Date: February 09, 2021