U.S. Employment Trends

U.S. Job Openings Little Changed at 4.6 Million in May; Hires and Separations Hold Steady

There were 4.6 million job openings on the last business day of May, little changed from 4.5 million in April. The hires rate (3.4 percent) and the separations rate (3.2 percent) showed little change in May.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – MAY 2014

There were 4.6 million job openings on the last business day of May, little changed from 4.5 million in
April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.4 percent) and separations
rate (3.2 percent) were essentially unchanged in May. Within separations, the quits rate (1.8 percent)
was unchanged and the layoffs and discharges rate (1.1 percent) was little changed. 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

There were 4.6 million job openings in May, little changed from 4.5 million in April. The number of job
openings was also little changed for total private and government. The job openings level increased for
nondurable manufacturing and for health care and social assistance in May, while it decreased for retail
trade and for arts, entertainment, and recreation. The number of job openings was little changed in all
four regions in May. (See table 1.)

Over the 12 months ending in May, the number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) rose for total
nonfarm, total private, and government. Over the year, the job openings level increased in nearly half of
the industries and in all four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

There were 4.7 million hires in May, little changed from April. The number of hires was little changed
for total private and government, and in all industries and regions. (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in May, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for
total nonfarm, total private, and government. The hires level increased over the year in mining and
logging and in retail trade, but decreased in finance and insurance. The number of hires was little
changed in all four regions. (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 4.5 million total separations in May, little changed from April. The number of total
separations was little changed for total private and government. (See table 3.)

The quits rate was unchanged at 1.8 percent in May. The rate also was essentially unchanged for total
private (2.1 percent) and unchanged for government (0.6 percent). The quits rate was little changed over
the month in all industries and in all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in May for total
nonfarm and total private and was little changed for government. The number of quits increased over the
year in wholesale trade, retail trade, and in accommodation and food services while decreasing in
finance and insurance. In the regions, the number of quits rose over the year in the Midwest and South.
(See table 10.)

The layoffs and discharges rate was little changed in May at 1.1 percent. The rate was little changed
over the month for total private (1.3 percent) and unchanged for government (0.4 percent). The layoffs
and discharges rate was essentially unchanged 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 May for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of layoffs and discharges increased
over the year in mining and logging and decreased in federal government. The number of layoffs and
discharges fell in the Midwest over the year. (See table 11.)

In May, there were 392,000 other separations for total nonfarm, little changed from April. The number
of other separations for total private was little changed over the month at 319,000 and rose to 73,000 for
government. (See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not available for
individual industries or regions. Over the 12 months ending in May, the number of other separations (not
seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total nonfarm and total private, and was up 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 May 2014, hires totaled 55.3 million
and separations totaled 53.0 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.3 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 June 2014 are scheduled to be released
on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).



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