Employment

U.S. Job Openings Decrease to 7.0 Million

ob openings decreased to 7.0 million on the last business day of September, after reaching a revised series high of 7.3 million in August. Over the month, hires and separations were both little changed at 5.7 million.
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U.S. Job Openings Decrease to 7.0 Million

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – SEPTEMBER 2018

The number of job openings decreased to 7.0 million on the last business day of September, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were both little
changed at 5.7 million. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.4 percent and the layoffs
and discharges rate was little changed at 1.1 percent. 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 September, the job openings level fell to 7.0 million (-284,000), after
reaching a revised series high of 7.3 million in August. The job openings rate was 4.5 percent in
September. The number of job openings edged down for total private (-188,000) and fell in government
(-96,000). Job openings increased in health care and social assistance (+71,000). The number of job
openings decreased in many industries, with the largest decreases in professional and business services
(-118,000), finance and insurance (-82,000), and state and local government, excluding education
(-67,000). Job openings decreased in the South region. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires in September was little changed at 5.7 million, after reaching a revised series high
of 5.9 million in August. The hires rate was 3.8 percent in September. The number of hires was little
changed for total private and for government. Hires were little changed in all industries. Hires decreased
in the West region. (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.

The number of total separations was little changed at 5.7 million in September. The total separations
rate was 3.8 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and edged down
for government (-28,000). Total separations decreased in state and local government education
(-21,000). The number of total separations decreased in the West region. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed in September at 3.6 million. The quits rate was 2.4 percent. The
number of quits was little changed for total private and for government. Quits increased in educational
services (+15,000), but decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-20,000) and state and
local government education (-10,000). The number of quits decreased in the West region. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in September at 1.7 million. The layoffs and
discharges rate was 1.1 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total
private and edged down for government (-19,000). The number of layoffs and discharges was little
changed in all industries and regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in September at 365,000. The other separations
level was little changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in professional
and business services (+22,000), but decreased in state and local government education (-7,000). The
number of other separations increased in the Midwest region. (See table 6.)

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 September, hires totaled 67.5 million
and separations totaled 65.1 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.



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