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Job openings in January 2021 little different from one year earlier

March 16, 2021

There were 6.9 million job openings in January 2021, little different from a year earlier, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. After the global pandemic was declared, job openings dropped to 4.6 million in April 2020, but have been between 6.0 million and 7.0 million since June 2020.

Job openings, hires, and separations, January 2020 to January 2021
Month Job openings Hires Separations

Jan 2020

7,154,000 5,974,000 5,714,000

Feb 2020

7,012,000 5,979,000 5,715,000

Mar 2020

5,769,000 5,132,000 16,308,000

Apr 2020

4,630,000 3,942,000 11,782,000

May 2020

5,447,000 8,272,000 4,618,000

Jun 2020

6,112,000 7,697,000 5,180,000

Jul 2020

6,717,000 6,237,000 5,392,000

Aug 2020

6,451,000 6,431,000 4,901,000

Sep 2020

6,611,000 5,932,000 5,235,000

Oct 2020

6,873,000 6,035,000 5,427,000

Nov 2020

6,766,000 6,019,000 5,744,000

Dec 2020

6,752,000 5,411,000 5,582,000

Jan 2021

6,917,000 5,301,000 5,307,000

Note: Data for the most recent month are preliminary.

Over the year ended in January 2020, job openings decreased in accommodation and food services; state and local government, excluding education; and arts, entertainment, and recreation. Job openings increased over the year in nondurable goods manufacturing; durable goods manufacturing; and mining and logging.

Hires numbered 5.3 million in January 2021, a decrease over the year, though above the level of 3.9 million recorded in April 2020. Over the year ended January 2021, hires decreased in accommodation and food services; professional and business services; and health care and social assistance.

Total separations decreased over the year, from 5.7 million in January 2020 to 5.3 million in January 2021, though the total separations level reached 16.3 million in March 2020. Since January 2020, total separations decreased in professional and business services; state and local government education; and educational services, but increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities and federal government.

These 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 "Job Openings and Labor Turnover — January 2021." Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Also see more charts on job openings, hires, and separations, and Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Job Openings and Labor Turnover data for January 2021.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Job openings in January 2021 little different from one year earlier at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/job-openings-in-january-2021-little-different-from-one-year-earlier.htm (visited July 29, 2021).

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