Hires-per-job-opening ratio 0.3 in federal government; 2.0 in arts, entertainment, and recreation

October 30, 2018

The federal government had the lowest hires-per-job-opening ratio (0.30) in August 2018, followed by finance and insurance (0.41), state and local government, excluding education (0.41), information (0.49), and health care and social assistance (0.53). These industries had fewer hires than job openings, implying difficulty hiring workers, a longer hiring process, or some other timing issue for job postings.

Hires-per-job-opening ratio, by industry, August 2018, seasonally adjusted
Industry Hires-per-job-opening ratio Hires Job openings

Federal government

0.30 33,000 111,000

Finance and insurance

0.41 148,000 363,000

State and local government, excluding education

0.41 139,000 339,000


0.49 73,000 149,000

Health care and social assistance

0.53 604,000 1,143,000

Wholesale trade

0.68 163,000 238,000

Educational services

0.69 89,000 129,000

Durable goods manufacturing

0.72 207,000 286,000

State and local government education

0.81 162,000 200,000

Total nonfarm

0.81 5,784,000 7,136,000

Nondurable goods manufacturing

0.82 165,000 202,000

Transportation, warehousing, and utilities

0.86 236,000 273,000

Professional and business services

0.89 1,177,000 1,318,000

Real estate and rental and leasing

0.93 80,000 86,000

Accommodation and food services

0.99 888,000 898,000

Other services

1.06 815,000 768,000

Retail trade

1.06 233,000 219,000


1.20 358,000 298,000

Mining and logging

1.32 41,000 31,000

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

2.01 173,000 86,000

Note: These data are preliminary.

The industries with the highest ratios were arts, entertainment, and recreation (2.01), mining and logging (1.32), and construction (1.20). High hires-per-job-opening ratios mean that appropriate workers were available and employers were able to hire them during the month. 

The hires-per-job-opening ratio for all nonfarm industries was 0.81 in August 2018. The hires-per-job-opening ratios for state and local government education and nondurable goods manufacturing were not much different from the all industry ratio.

Hires and job openings data are from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and are seasonally adjusted. Data for the most recent month are preliminary. To learn more, see "Which industries are filling job openings and which industries are not? Exploring the JOLTS hires-per-job-opening ratio" in Beyond the Numbers, October 2018. The hires-per-job-opening ratio divides the number of hires that occurred during a month by the number of jobs that remained open at the end of the month. A ratio greater than 1.0 indicates that businesses hired more employees during the month than they had jobs remaining open at the end of the month. A ratio less than 1.0 indicates fewer hires during the month than there were open jobs at the end of the month.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Hires-per-job-opening ratio 0.3 in federal government; 2.0 in arts, entertainment, and recreation on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/hires-per-job-opening-ratio-0-point-3-in-federal-government-2-point-0-in-arts-entertainment-and-recreation-august-2018.htm (visited September 15, 2019).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics