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Fri Mar 16, 2018, 12:36 PM

BLS report: Job openings rise to a high of 6.3 million in Jan; annual hires and quits rise in 2017

JOLTS, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

Job openings rise to a high of 6.3 million in Jan; annual hires and quits rise in 2017

Economic News Release USDL-18-0377

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, March 16, 2018

Technical information: (202) 691-5870 • JoltsInfo@bls.gov • www.bls.gov/jlt
Media contact: (202) 691-5902 • PressOffice@bls.gov

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – JANUARY 2018

The number of job openings increased to 6.3 million on the last business day of January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.6 million and 5.4 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate and the layoffs and discharges rate were little changed at 2.2 percent and 1.2 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. The release also includes 2017 annual estimates for hires and separations. The annual number of hires at 65.3 million and the annual number of quits at 38.2 million increased in 2017. The annual number of layoffs and discharges at 20.7 million edged up in 2017.

Job Openings

On the last business day of January, the job openings level increased to a series high of 6.3 million (+645,000). The job openings level increased for total private (+608,000) and edged up for government. The job openings rate increased to 4.1 percent in January. The number of job openings increased in professional and business services (+215,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+113,000), construction (+101,000), and several other industries. The number of job openings increased in the South, Midwest, and West regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.6 million in January. The hires rate was little changed at 3.8 percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. Hires increased in federal government (+10,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions. (See table 2.)

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.
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The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey results for February 2018 are scheduled to be released on Friday, April 13, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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