Quits rise while layoffs and discharges fall in 2016

March 22, 2017

There were 36.1 million quits in the nonfarm sector in 2016, an increase from 2015. The number of layoffs and discharges, at 19.9 million in 2016, declined from 2015. There were 62.7 million hires in the nonfarm sector in 2016, essentially the same as the number of hires in 2015 but well above the 46.2 million hires in 2009.

 

 

Annual hires and separations, 2001–16, not seasonally adjusted
Year Hires Total
separations
Layoffs and
discharges
Quits Other
separations

2001

62,727,000 64,560,000 24,271,000 35,784,000 4,506,000

2002

58,416,000 58,942,000 22,719,000 31,655,000 4,566,000

2003

56,919,000 56,961,000 23,420,000 29,251,000 4,292,000

2004

60,236,000 58,224,000 22,584,000 31,444,000 4,201,000

2005

63,089,000 60,633,000 22,151,000 34,380,000 4,102,000

2006

63,491,000 61,284,000 20,856,000 35,692,000 4,731,000

2007

62,239,000 60,984,000 21,997,000 34,718,000 4,270,000

2008

54,764,000 58,209,000 23,969,000 30,391,000 3,850,000

2009

46,190,000 51,358,000 26,557,000 21,112,000 3,689,000

2010

48,659,000 47,649,000 21,703,000 22,051,000 3,897,000

2011

50,253,000 48,214,000 20,756,000 23,581,000 3,877,000

2012

52,332,000 50,131,000 20,942,000 25,142,000 4,047,000

2013

54,320,000 51,932,000 19,888,000 27,715,000 4,327,000

2014

58,657,000 55,587,000 20,398,000 30,582,000 4,605,000

2015

62,050,000 59,275,000 20,954,000 33,718,000 4,603,000

2016

62,719,000 60,419,000 19,911,000 36,091,000 4,418,000

The quits rate, 25.0 percent of employment in 2016, rose for the seventh consecutive year. The layoffs and discharges rate, 13.8 percent of employment in 2016, fell over the year and was well below the most recent peak of 20.2 percent in 2009. The annual rate of other separations—which include retirements, transfers to other locations, deaths, and separations due to disability—was 3.1 percent in 2016, essentially the same as in recent years. The hires rate in 2016 was 43.5 percent of nonfarm employment, essentially the same as in 2015.

 

 

Annual hires and separations rates, 2001–16, not seasonally adjusted
Year Hires Total
separations
Layoffs and
discharges
Quits Other
separations

2001

47.5% 48.9% 18.4% 27.1% 3.4%

2002

44.7 45.1 17.4 24.2 3.5

2003

43.7 43.7 18.0 22.4 3.3

2004

45.7 44.2 17.1 23.9 3.2

2005

47.1 45.2 16.5 25.6 3.1

2006

46.5 44.9 15.3 26.2 3.5

2007

45.1 44.2 15.9 25.2 3.1

2008

39.9 42.4 17.5 22.1 2.8

2009

35.2 39.1 20.2 16.1 2.8

2010

37.3 36.6 16.6 16.9 3.0

2011

38.1 36.5 15.7 17.9 2.9

2012

39.0 37.4 15.6 18.7 3.0

2013

39.8 38.1 14.6 20.3 3.2

2014

42.2 40.0 14.7 22.0 3.3

2015

43.7 41.8 14.8 23.8 3.2

2016

43.5 41.9 13.8 25.0 3.1

These data are from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. To learn more, see "Job Openings and Labor Turnover — January 2017" (HTML) (PDF). Also see more charts featuring data on job openings, hires, and separations. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee; layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by employers.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Quits rise while layoffs and discharges fall in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/quits-rise-while-layoffs-and-discharges-fall-in-2016.htm (visited August 22, 2017).

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