U.S. Employment Trends

U.S. Job Openings Increase to 4.2 Million in February

There were 4.2 million job openings on the last business day of February, up from 3.9 million in January. The hires rate (3.3 percent) and the separations rate (3.2 percent) were unchanged in February.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – FEBRUARY 2014

There were 4.2 million job openings on the last business day of February, up from January, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.3 percent) and separations rate (3.2 percent)
were unchanged in February. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings,
hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by geographic region.

Job Openings

There were 4.2 million job openings in February, up from 3.9 million in January. The number of
openings rose for total private and was little changed for government. The number of job openings
increased in retail trade and in professional and business services, while the number of job openings
decreased in arts, entertainment, and recreation. The South region experienced a rise in job openings in
February. (See table 1.)

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the year for total nonfarm and total
private and was little changed for government. Over the year, the number of job openings increased in
three industries and decreased in three industries. The Midwest and West regions experienced an
increase in the number of job openings over the 12 months ending in February. (See table 7.)

Hires

There were 4.6 million hires in February, little changed from January. The number of hires was
essentially unchanged for total private and government. The number of hires rose in February in retail
trade and was little changed in all four regions. (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in February, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) changed little for
total nonfarm, total private, and government. Hires levels increased over the year in educational services
and decreased in construction and federal government. The number of hires rose in the Midwest region.
(See table 8.)

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 include separations
due to retirement, death, and disability, as well as transfers to other locations of the same firm.

There were 4.4 million total separations in February, little changed from January. The number of total
separations was essentially unchanged for total private and government. (See table 3.)

In February, the quits rate was unchanged at 1.7 percent for total nonfarm. The rate also was unchanged
for total private (1.9 percent) and government (0.6 percent). The quits rate was essentially unchanged
over the month in all industries and in all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months ending in February
for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of quits was essentially unchanged in all
industries and in all four regions over the year. (See table 10.)

The layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged in February at 1.2 percent. The rate was little changed
over the month for total private (1.3 percent) and government (0.4 percent). The layoffs and discharges
rate was little changed in all four regions. Seasonally adjusted estimates of layoffs and discharges are
not available for individual industries. (See table 5.)

The layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months ending
in February for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of layoffs and discharges fell
over the year in federal government. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four
regions. (See table 11.)

In February, there were 383,000 other separations for total nonfarm, little changed from January. The
number of other separations also was little changed over the month for total private and government.
(See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not available for individual
industries or regions. Over the 12 months ending in February, the number of other separations (not
seasonally adjusted) increased for total nonfarm and total private and was little changed for government.
(See table 12.)

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 February 2014, hires totaled 54.3
million and separations totaled 52.2 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.1 million. These
figures include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
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The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey results for March 2014 are scheduled to be
released on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).



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