More layoffs than quits in construction; more quits than layoffs in retail trade and health care

December 11, 2015

In October 2015, a total of 2,873,000 workers quit their jobs, while there were 1,757,000 layoffs and discharges. The quits-to-layoffs-and-discharges ratio (quits divided by layoffs and discharges) was 1.64. This ratio varied by industry and ranged from 0.46 in construction to 3.13 in health care and social assistance in October.

Ratio of quits to layoffs and discharges, by industry, not seasonally adjusted, January 2010–October 2015
Month Total nonfarm Construction Professional and
business services
Manufacturing Educational services Government Wholesale trade Other services

Jan 2010

0.69 0.21 0.57 0.34 1.55 0.91 0.54 0.86

Feb 2010

0.98 0.25 0.76 0.58 1.82 1.58 0.53 0.41

Mar 2010

1.08 0.37 0.84 0.62 1.64 1.25 0.91 1.46

Apr 2010

1.27 0.24 0.97 0.75 1.76 1.11 1.04 1.98

May 2010

1.13 0.25 0.90 0.92 0.68 0.67 0.83 1.66

Jun 2010

1.06 0.35 1.27 0.98 0.49 0.41 1.18 1.53

Jul 2010

1.02 0.34 1.02 0.80 0.54 0.45 0.60 1.25

Aug 2010

1.25 0.49 1.50 1.03 0.58 0.55 1.26 0.60

Sep 2010

1.11 0.39 1.03 0.79 1.00 0.57 0.61 1.41

Oct 2010

1.09 0.34 1.23 0.63 1.79 0.85 0.75 0.94

Nov 2010

0.83 0.15 0.75 0.49 1.59 0.79 0.52 0.93

Dec 2010

0.78 0.18 0.64 0.53 0.84 0.76 0.49 2.59

Jan 2011

0.82 0.19 0.79 0.62 1.30 1.36 1.13 1.05

Feb 2011

1.17 0.21 1.11 0.68 1.05 1.72 1.09 1.01

Mar 2011

1.30 0.33 1.08 1.11 1.60 1.38 1.02 1.36

Apr 2011

1.28 0.42 0.75 1.06 1.75 1.14 1.36 0.89

May 2011

1.28 0.42 0.90 1.00 0.84 1.03 0.83 1.06

Jun 2011

1.18 0.39 0.90 1.26 0.59 0.89 0.62 0.99

Jul 2011

1.28 0.43 1.18 1.18 0.66 0.90 1.00 0.86

Aug 2011

1.42 0.37 1.22 1.06 1.76 1.11 1.72 0.92

Sep 2011

1.17 0.39 0.96 0.92 1.27 0.75 1.42 0.85

Oct 2011

1.09 0.36 0.92 1.11 1.10 0.97 1.66 0.80

Nov 2011

0.91 0.34 0.84 0.83 0.74 1.25 0.85 0.93

Dec 2011

0.84 0.18 0.60 0.66 1.10 1.07 0.55 0.83

Jan 2012

0.93 0.18 0.99 0.78 0.72 1.53 0.65 1.08

Feb 2012

1.24 0.28 0.88 0.89 2.10 1.81 1.17 1.09

Mar 2012

1.47 0.44 1.07 1.21 2.09 1.81 1.04 1.64

Apr 2012

1.25 0.35 0.77 1.17 1.29 1.74 1.10 0.67

May 2012

1.28 0.40 0.90 1.29 0.57 1.13 1.26 1.15

Jun 2012

1.35 0.52 0.86 1.03 0.70 1.29 1.79 1.91

Jul 2012

1.50 0.45 1.05 1.28 0.74 1.17 1.91 2.05

Aug 2012

1.36 0.41 0.90 1.42 1.97 1.19 1.38 1.53

Sep 2012

1.11 0.29 0.77 1.04 2.30 1.02 0.89 0.64

Oct 2012

1.14 0.58 0.78 0.85 0.96 1.35 1.33 0.69

Nov 2012

0.96 0.25 0.73 0.76 1.54 1.42 0.65 0.61

Dec 2012

0.98 0.24 0.87 0.80 0.71 1.24 0.72 1.24

Jan 2013

1.12 0.47 0.72 0.78 1.67 1.60 1.07 2.15

Feb 2013

1.46 0.49 0.95 0.92 1.50 1.72 1.32 2.56

Mar 2013

1.35 0.43 0.90 1.11 1.19 1.45 1.80 1.01

Apr 2013

1.46 0.60 0.95 1.38 1.42 2.15 2.28 0.86

May 2013

1.39 0.64 1.10 1.23 0.89 1.32 1.14 1.19

Jun 2013

1.49 0.76 1.28 1.25 0.78 1.26 2.10 0.94

Jul 2013

1.70 0.72 1.69 1.38 0.67 1.50 0.89 1.29

Aug 2013

1.63 0.74 1.22 1.12 0.86 1.43 2.00 1.34

Sep 2013

1.32 0.57 1.19 1.23 1.00 0.89 1.37 1.44

Oct 2013

1.54 0.46 1.44 1.19 1.71 1.19 1.76 1.63

Nov 2013

1.32 0.25 1.35 0.96 1.11 1.39 1.27 1.69

Dec 2013

1.02 0.23 1.04 0.81 0.74 1.08 0.72 1.28

Jan 2014

1.07 0.47 1.08 0.83 0.85 1.31 1.15 1.69

Feb 2014

1.55 0.59 1.06 1.21 2.00 2.39 1.50 1.41

Mar 2014

1.65 0.70 1.30 1.71 1.13 1.64 2.00 2.19

Apr 2014

1.53 0.98 0.98 1.20 1.76 2.27 1.57 2.89

May 2014

1.62 0.99 1.08 1.68 1.00 1.53 2.28 1.89

Jun 2014

1.61 1.12 1.15 1.15 0.77 1.28 1.32 1.59

Jul 2014

1.68 0.60 1.36 1.94 0.96 1.68 0.99 1.10

Aug 2014

1.79 1.07 1.09 1.58 1.20 1.92 1.14 1.37

Sep 2014

1.59 0.87 1.19 1.19 1.13 1.48 1.79 2.03

Oct 2014

1.53 0.61 1.13 1.10 2.73 1.75 1.71 1.34

Nov 2014

1.40 0.30 0.98 0.89 1.92 1.30 1.46 1.38

Dec 2014

1.12 0.31 0.83 0.95 1.09 1.19 1.47 1.62

Jan 2015

1.26 0.37 1.23 1.14 1.24 1.27 1.51 1.43

Feb 2015

1.72 0.63 1.14 1.08 2.20 2.12 1.21 1.91

Mar 2015

1.62 0.70 1.03 1.32 2.00 2.03 1.20 1.50

Apr 2015

1.67 0.95 1.07 1.71 1.82 1.97 2.72 1.98

May 2015

1.76 1.08 1.36 1.63 1.10 1.42 3.19 1.83

Jun 2015

1.71 0.72 1.37 1.55 0.68 1.56 1.03 1.15

Jul 2015

1.97 1.04 1.46 1.55 2.12 1.52 1.38 1.56

Aug 2015

1.85 0.74 1.79 1.55 1.14 1.46 1.86 0.96

Sep 2015

1.47 0.79 1.06 1.37 1.88 1.05 3.64 0.90

Oct 2015

1.64 0.46 1.34 1.33 1.84 1.32 1.88 0.93

 

Ratio of quits to layoffs and discharges, by industry, not seasonally adjusted, January 2010–October 2015 (continued)
Month Mining and logging Transportation,
warehousing,
and utilities
Information Financial activities Leisure and hospitality Health care
and social
assistance
Retail trade

Jan 2010

0.67 0.63 0.38 0.68 1.45 1.51 0.65

Feb 2010

0.86 1.10 0.95 1.18 2.11 1.28 1.93

Mar 2010

0.86 1.72 1.81 1.46 1.67 1.77 1.13

Apr 2010

1.00 1.42 1.47 1.73 2.11 2.00 2.21

May 2010

0.75 1.07 0.88 1.28 1.66 1.66 2.65

Jun 2010

1.60 1.04 1.32 2.49 1.59 1.55 1.56

Jul 2010

1.67 1.50 1.17 1.25 1.96 1.05 2.01

Aug 2010

2.00 1.94 1.59 1.84 1.99 1.68 2.34

Sep 2010

1.14 1.44 1.67 1.92 1.32 1.38 2.58

Oct 2010

1.17 0.79 1.59 0.89 1.23 2.25 1.89

Nov 2010

0.70 1.27 1.52 0.97 0.98 1.57 1.48

Dec 2010

0.50 0.44 1.16 1.09 1.65 1.30 1.09

Jan 2011

0.64 0.48 0.97 0.72 1.45 1.68 0.68

Feb 2011

2.75 1.93 1.39 1.17 2.09 1.89 1.45

Mar 2011

2.33 1.69 0.75 2.28 1.63 2.36 1.85

Apr 2011

1.00 1.82 2.47 2.03 2.39 2.30 2.41

May 2011

1.67 2.21 1.52 2.20 1.70 1.90 3.33

Jun 2011

1.83 1.60 1.63 1.52 2.09 1.31 2.23

Jul 2011

2.80 1.25 1.38 2.30 2.11 1.50 2.07

Aug 2011

2.43 1.50 2.72 2.02 2.11 1.64 2.57

Sep 2011

2.29 1.43 1.95 1.22 1.28 2.29 2.44

Oct 2011

3.20 0.87 1.50 1.30 1.03 1.91 2.27

Nov 2011

1.25 1.25 1.70 1.09 0.80 1.38 1.34

Dec 2011

0.92 0.44 0.92 1.52 1.28 1.54 1.44

Jan 2012

0.94 0.80 1.27 1.43 1.16 1.67 0.90

Feb 2012

1.08 1.62 1.00 1.70 1.90 2.38 1.88

Mar 2012

1.17 2.14 1.50 1.95 2.07 2.38 2.00

Apr 2012

1.55 1.73 1.35 2.18 1.92 1.84 2.21

May 2012

1.25 1.53 1.71 1.73 2.16 1.85 1.94

Jun 2012

1.67 1.37 2.24 2.20 2.67 1.27 2.12

Jul 2012

3.00 1.24 1.89 2.09 2.70 1.97 2.56

Aug 2012

1.62 1.63 1.63 1.91 1.79 1.81 2.01

Sep 2012

1.80 1.12 1.46 2.89 1.33 1.83 2.44

Oct 2012

2.00 1.34 1.95 1.36 1.25 1.90 2.01

Nov 2012

1.10 1.73 1.74 1.10 1.07 2.12 1.99

Dec 2012

0.47 0.52 2.10 1.14 1.62 1.93 1.04

Jan 2013

0.76 0.73 1.46 1.22 1.91 2.30 1.12

Feb 2013

1.09 1.50 1.33 1.95 2.94 1.93 1.81

Mar 2013

2.43 1.31 2.00 2.09 2.18 2.56 1.72

Apr 2013

1.15 1.61 1.42 2.23 1.96 2.08 2.23

May 2013

1.50 1.18 1.52 2.04 2.25 1.70 1.69

Jun 2013

2.43 1.68 1.11 2.07 2.14 1.86 2.10

Jul 2013

1.80 1.26 1.72 2.03 2.57 2.31 2.35

Aug 2013

1.67 1.34 1.70 2.12 1.98 2.22 3.58

Sep 2013

1.18 1.50 0.85 1.23 1.09 2.20 3.34

Oct 2013

0.75 1.11 1.58 1.19 1.89 2.55 2.61

Nov 2013

1.00 1.48 1.48 1.31 1.74 1.76 1.81

Dec 2013

0.79 0.98 1.07 0.98 1.39 2.15 1.06

Jan 2014

0.79 0.37 1.55 0.72 1.55 1.51 1.14

Feb 2014

1.40 1.35 1.75 1.60 2.43 2.31 1.98

Mar 2014

1.08 1.70 1.25 1.44 2.61 1.64 2.17

Apr 2014

1.89 1.82 1.36 1.35 2.16 1.76 1.94

May 2014

1.21 1.18 2.10 1.57 1.85 2.26 2.56

Jun 2014

2.00 1.58 1.59 1.73 2.32 2.08 2.51

Jul 2014

2.00 1.52 1.35 2.98 2.48 2.71 2.23

Aug 2014

2.11 1.90 2.47 2.75 2.71 2.19 2.93

Sep 2014

1.46 1.65 1.58 4.10 1.52 2.19 2.78

Oct 2014

1.50 1.20 1.93 2.31 1.78 2.20 2.61

Nov 2014

0.87 1.41 1.85 2.04 2.05 2.80 2.23

Dec 2014

0.50 0.93 1.11 1.45 1.97 1.99 1.31

Jan 2015

0.43 0.45 1.22 1.56 2.15 3.26 1.13

Feb 2015

0.30 1.56 2.86 2.48 2.77 3.66 2.50

Mar 2015

0.33 1.11 1.80 1.82 2.56 2.78 2.65

Apr 2015

0.56 1.69 1.78 1.51 1.82 3.13 2.57

May 2015

1.13 1.26 1.74 2.28 1.99 2.58 2.41

Jun 2015

1.44 1.70 1.44 2.00 2.81 3.05 2.53

Jul 2015

1.13 1.83 2.27 1.75 3.68 2.91 2.27

Aug 2015

1.06 1.80 2.41 1.53 2.24 3.41 2.92

Sep 2015

1.13 1.50 1.63 1.52 1.51 2.40 2.94

Oct 2015

0.89 2.13 2.04 2.53 1.78 3.13 3.04

Note: Data for the most recent month are preliminary.

The quits-to-layoffs-and-discharges ratio of less than 1.0 in construction indicates that the number of quits in October (96,000) was less than half the number of layoffs and discharges (209,000). The ratio for construction has been below 1.0 for most of the past decade, indicating that layoffs and discharges are more common than quits. Workers in the construction industry are routinely laid off as projects are completed and then rehired for new projects.

In contrast, the ratio for health care and social assistance was 3.13 in October. The number of quits (335,000) was more than three times the number of layoffs and discharges (107,000). A ratio over 1.0 indicates more quits than layoffs and discharges. The ratio in health care and social assistance has been above 1.0 in every month for which data are available. The high ratio suggests a need for workers, as evidenced by constant voluntary turnover and few layoffs and discharges.

The quits-to-layoffs-and-discharges ratio in retail trade, leisure and hospitality, financial activities, and information have also often been above 1.0 in recent years.

The ratio for manufacturing and professional and business services have been both above and below 1.0 over the past several years indicating that the numbers of both quits and layoffs and discharges in these industries are much affected by the contraction, recovery, and expansion of the economic business cycle.

These data are from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and are not seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary. To learn more, see "Job Openings and Labor Turnover — October 2015" (HTML) (PDF). More charts featuring data on job openings, hires, and employment separations can be found in Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Highlights: September 2015 (PDF). Total separations (employment terminations) consist of 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. The other separations category includes separations due to retirement, death, and disability, as well as transfers to other locations of the same firm.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, More layoffs than quits in construction; more quits than layoffs in retail trade and health care on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/more-layoffs-than-quits-in-construction-more-quits-than-layoffs-in-retail-trade-and-health-care.htm (visited September 17, 2019).

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