Technical Note This news release presents statistics from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects and compiles JOLTS data monthly from a sample of nonfarm establishments. A more detailed discussion of JOLTS concepts and methodology is available online at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch18.pdf. Coverage and collection The JOLTS program covers all private nonfarm establishments, as well as federal, state, and local government entities in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data are collected for total employment, job openings, hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, other separations, and total separations. Concepts Industry classification. The industry classifications in this release are in accordance with the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Employment. Employment includes persons on the payroll who worked or received pay for the pay period that includes the 12th day of the reference month. Full-time, part-time, permanent, short-term, seasonal, salaried, and hourly employees are included, as are employees on paid vacations or other paid leave. Proprietors or partners of unincorporated businesses, unpaid family workers, or persons on leave without pay or on strike for the entire pay period, are not counted as employed. Employees of temporary help agencies, employee leasing companies, outside contractors, and consultants are counted by their employer of record, not by the establishment where they are working. Job openings. Job openings information is collected for the last business day of the reference month. A job opening requires that: 1) a specific position exists and there is work available for that position, 2) work could start within 30 days whether or not the employer found a suitable candidate, and 3) the employer is actively recruiting from outside the establishment to fill the position. Included are full-time, part-time, permanent, short-term, and seasonal openings. Active recruiting means that the establishment is taking steps to fill a position by advertising in newspapers or on the Internet, posting help-wanted signs, accepting applications, or using other similar methods. Jobs to be filled only by internal transfers, promotions, demotions, or recall from layoffs are excluded. Also excluded are jobs with start dates more than 30 days in the future, jobs for which employees have been hired but have not yet reported for work, and jobs to be filled by employees of temporary help agencies, employee leasing companies, outside contractors, or consultants. The job openings rate is computed by dividing the number of job openings by the sum of employment and job openings and multiplying that quotient by 100. Hires. The hires level is the total number of additions to the payroll occurring at any time during the reference month, including both new and rehired employees, full-time and part-time, permanent, short-term and seasonal employees, employees recalled to the location after a layoff lasting more than 7 days, on-call or intermittent employees who returned to work after having been formally separated, and transfers from other locations. The hires count does not include transfers or promotions within the reporting site, employees returning from strike, employees of temporary help agencies or employee leasing companies, outside contractors, or consultants. The hires rate is computed by dividing the number of hires by employment and multiplying that quotient by 100. Separations. The separations level is the total number of employment terminations occurring at any time during the reference month, and is reported by type of separation—quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. (Some respondents are only able to report total separations.) The quits count includes voluntary separations by employees (except for retirements, which are reported as other separations). The layoffs and discharges count is comprised of involuntary separations initiated by the employer and includes layoffs with no intent to rehire; formal layoffs lasting or expected to last more than 7 days; discharges resulting from mergers, downsizing, or closings; firings or other discharges for cause; terminations of permanent or short-term employees; and terminations of seasonal employees. The other separations count includes retirements, transfers to other locations, deaths, and separations due to disability. The separations count does not include transfers within the same location or employees on strike. The separations rate is computed by dividing the number of separations by employment and multiplying that quotient by 100. The quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations rates are computed similarly. Annual estimates. Annual levels for hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, other separations, and total separations are the sum of the 12 published monthly levels. Annual rates are computed by dividing the annual level by the Current Employment Statistics (CES) annual average employment level, and multiplying that quotient by 100. This figure will be approximately equal to the sum of the 12 monthly rates. Consistent with BLS practice, annual estimates are published only for not seasonally adjusted data and are released with the January news release each year. Annual estimates are not calculated for job openings because job openings are a stock, or point-in-time, measurement for the last business day of each month. Sample and estimation methodology The JOLTS survey design is a stratified random sample of 16,000 nonfarm business and government establishments. The sample is stratified by ownership, region, industry sector, and establishment size class. The establishments are drawn from a universe of over 9.1 million establishments compiled by the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program which includes all employers subject to state unemployment insurance laws and federal agencies subject to the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees program. JOLTS total employment estimates are benchmarked, or ratio adjusted, monthly to the strike-adjusted employment estimates of the CES survey. A ratio of CES to JOLTS employment is used to adjust the levels for all other JOLTS data elements. JOLTS business birth/death model As with any sample survey, the JOLTS sample can only be as current as its sampling frame. The time lag from the birth of an establishment until its appearance on the sampling frame is approximately one year. In addition, many of these new units may fail within the first year. Since these universe units cannot be reflected on the sampling frame immediately, the JOLTS sample cannot capture job openings, hires, and separations from these units during their early existence. To compensate for the inability to capture data from these establishments, BLS has developed a birth/death model that uses birth and death activity from previous years. The estimates of job openings, hires, and separations produced by the birth/death model are added to the sample-based estimates produced from the survey to arrive at the estimates for openings, hires, and separations. Seasonal adjustment BLS uses X-13 ARIMA to seasonally adjust several JOLTS series utilizing moving averages as seasonal filters. A concurrent seasonal adjustment methodology is used in which new seasonal adjustment factors are calculated each month, using all relevant data, up to and including current month data. JOLTS seasonal adjustment includes both additive and multiplicative models and REGARIMA (regression with auto- correlated errors) modeling to improve the seasonal adjustment factors at the beginning and end of the series and to detect and adjust for outliers in the series. Alignment procedure The JOLTS measures for hires minus separations can be used to derive a measure of net employment change. This change should be comparable to the net employment change from the much larger CES survey. However, definitional differences as well as sampling and nonsampling errors between the two surveys historically caused JOLTS to diverge from CES over time. To limit the divergence, and improve the quality of the JOLTS hires and separations series, BLS implemented the Monthly Alignment Method. This method applies the CES employment trends to the seasonally adjusted JOLTS implied employment trend (hires minus separations) forcing them to be approximately the same, while preserving the seasonality of the JOLTS data. First, the two series are seasonally adjusted and the difference between the JOLTS implied employment change and the CES net employment change is calculated. Next, the JOLTS implied employment change is adjusted to equal the CES net employment change through a proportional adjustment. This procedure adjusts the two components (hires, separations) proportionally to their contribution to the total churn (hires plus separations). The adjusted hires and separations are converted back to not seasonally adjusted data by reversing the application of the original seasonal factors. After the Monthly Alignment Method has been used to adjust the level estimates, rate estimates are computed from the adjusted levels. Reliability of the estimates JOLTS estimates are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. When a sample is surveyed rather than the entire population, there is a chance that the sample estimates may differ from the "true" population values they represent. The exact difference, or sampling error, varies depending on the particular sample selected, and this variability is measured by the standard error of the estimate. BLS analysis is generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence. That means that there is a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors from the "true" population value because of sampling error. Sampling error estimates are available at www.bls.gov/jlt/jolts_median_standard_errors.htm. The JOLTS estimates also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error can occur for many reasons, including the failure to include a segment of the population, the inability to obtain data from all units in the sample, the inability or unwillingness of respondents to provide data on a timely basis, mistakes made by respondents, errors made in the collection or processing of the data, and errors from the employment benchmark data used in estimation. Other information Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.