Gilmer Free Press

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

The Free Press WV

The number of job openings edged down to 6.6 million on the last business day of May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.8 million and 5.5 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate and the layoffs and discharges rate were little changed at 2.4 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by four geographic regions.


Job Openings

On the last business day of May, the job openings level edged down to 6.6 million from a revised April level of 6.8 million, a series high. The job openings rate was 4.3 percent. The number of job openings decreased for total private (-228,000) and was little changed for government. Job openings increased in federal government (+12,000) and mining and logging (+10,000) but decreased in information (-60,000) and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-27,000). The number of job openings decreased in the Northeast region.


Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.8 million in May. The hires rate was 3.9 percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private. Hires increased in health care and social assistance (+48,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions.


Separations

Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover. 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. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.

The number of total separations was little changed at 5.5 million in May. The total separations rate was 3.7 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private. Total separations decreased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-39,000) and state and local government education (-17,000). The number of total separations was little changed in all four regions.

The number of quits increased in May to 3.6 million (+212,000). The quits rate was 2.4 percent. The number of quits rose for total private (+204,000) and was little changed for government. Quits increased in health care and social assistance (+55,000), finance and insurance (+21,000), and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+20,000). The number of quits increased in the South region.

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed at 1.6 million in May. The layoffs and discharges rate was 1.1 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total private. Layoffs and discharges decreased in retail trade (-75,000), arts, entertainment, and recreation (-44,000), and state and local government education (-15,000). The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in the West region.

The number of other separations was little changed in May at 320,000. The number of other separations was little changed for total private and decreased for government (-13,000). Other separations decreased in finance and insurance (-19,000), state and local government education (-7,000), and federal government (-4,000). Other separations was little changed in all four regions.


Net Change in Employment

Large numbers of hires and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle. Net employment change results from the relationship between hires and separations. When the number of hires exceeds the number of separations, employment rises, even if the hires level is steady or declining. Conversely, when the number of hires is less than the number of separations, employment declines, even if the hires level is steady or rising. Over the 12 months ending in May, hires totaled 66.4 million and separations totaled 63.9 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.5 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

--> Wednesday, July 11, 2018
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