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U.S. Job Openings (6.2 Million), Hires, and Separations Little Changed in July

U.S. Job Openings (6.2 Million), Hires, and Separations Little Changed in July

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – JULY 2017

The number of job openings was little changed at 6.2 million on the last business day of July, the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were also little changed 
at 5.5 million and 5.3 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.

Job Openings

On the last business day of July, there were 6.2 million job openings, little changed from June. The job 
openings rate was 4.0 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and 
decreased for government (-58,000). Job openings increased in a number of industries with the largest 
increases occurring in other services (+111,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+70,000), 
and educational services (+26,000). Job openings decreased in health care and social assistance 
(-72,000), state and local government, excluding education (-46,000), and federal government (-21,000). 
The number of job openings was little changed in the regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.5 million in July. The hires rate was 3.8 percent. The 
number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. The number of hires increased 
for federal government (+9,000), and was little changed for all other industries. 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.

The number of total separations was little changed at 5.3 million in July. The total separations rate was 
3.6 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and for government. 
Total separations increased in federal government (+8,000) but decreased in educational services 
(-19,000). The number of total separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed at 3.2 million in July. The quits rate was 2.2 percent. The 
number of quits was little changed for total private and for government. Quits decreased in educational 
services (-16,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four regions. (See table 4.)

There were 1.8 million layoffs and discharges in July, little changed from June. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.2 percent in July. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total 
private and for government. The layoffs and discharges level increased in federal government (+9,000). 
The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in July. The other separations level was also little 
changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in professional and business 
services (+31,000) and in information (+6,000), but decreased in wholesale trade (-15,000). In all four 
regions, the number of other separations was little changed. (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 July, hires totaled 63.6 million and 
separations totaled 61.5 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.1 million. These totals include 
workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

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