The number of job openings was at a series high of 11.5 million on the last business day of March, although little changed over the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires, at 6.7 million, were also little changed while total separations edged up to 6.3 million. Within separations, quits edged up to a series high of 4.5 million, while layoffs and discharges were little changed at 1.4 million. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, by four geographic regions, and by establishment size class.
On the last business day of March, the number of job openings was little changed at 11.5 million, the highest level in the history of the series which began in December 2000. Over the month, the job openings rate was little changed at 7.1 percent. Job openings increased in retail trade (+155,000) and in durable goods manufacturing (+50,000). Job openings decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-69,000); state and local government education (-43,000); and federal government (-20,000). Job openings increased in the South region. (See table 1.)
In March, the number of hires was little changed at 6.7 million. The hires rate was unchanged at 4.5 percent. Hires were little changed in all industries and in all four regions. (See table 2.)
Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. 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 3.0 3.4 3.8 4.2 4.6 5.0 5.4 5.8 6.2 6.6 7.0 7.4 Mar-19Sep-19Mar-20Sep-20Mar-21Sep-21Mar-22 Percent Chart 1. Job openings rate, seasonally adjusted, March 2019 -March 2022 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 Mar-19Sep-19Mar-20Sep-20Mar-21Sep-21Mar-22 Hires Separations Percent Chart 2. Hires and total separations rates, seasonally adjusted, March 2019 -March 2022- 2 – by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm.
In March, the number of total separations edged up to 6.3 million (+239,000). The rate was little changed at 4.2 percent. Total separations were little changed in all industries. The number of total separations increased in the South region. (See table 3.)
In March, the number of quits edged up to a series high of 4.5 million (+152,000). The rate was little changed at 3.0 percent. Quits increased in professional and business services (+88,000) and construction (+69,000). The number of quits increased in the South region. (See table 4.)
In March, the number of layoffs and discharges was little changed at 1.4 million. The rate was unchanged at 0.9 percent. Layoffs and discharges were little changed in all industries and in all four regions. (See table 5.)
The number of other separations was little changed in March at 380,000. Other separations increased in construction (+12,000); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+11,000); wholesale trade (+10,000); and educational services (+4,000). The other separations level decreased in information (-6,000). Other separations were little changed in all four regions. (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 March, hires totaled 77.7 million and separations totaled 71.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 6.3 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
Establishment Size Class
In March, the job openings rate increased in establishments with 50 to 249 employees and establishments with 250 to 999 employees. The job openings rate decreased in establishments with 10 to 49 employees. The quits rate decreased in establishments with 1,000 to 4,999 employees. The total separations rate increased in establishments with 250 to 999 employees. For a more in-depth description of the JOLTS establishment size class estimates, please visit www.bls.gov/jlt/sizeclassmethodology.htm.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates for April 2022 are scheduled to be released on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. (ET).
Article Courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics