U.S. Employment Trends

U.S. Job Openings Rise to 7.5 Million in March

Job openings rose to 7.5 million the last business day of March. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.7 million and 5.4 million, respectively.
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U.S. Job Openings Rise to 7.5 Million in March

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – MARCH 2019

The number of job openings rose to 7.5 million on the last business day of March, the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.7 million
and 5.4 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 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 March, the job openings level rose to 7.5 million (+346,000). The job
openings rate was 4.7 percent. The number of job openings increased for total private (+363,000) and
was little changed for government. Job openings increased in a number of industries, with the largest
increases in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+87,000), construction (+73,000), and real estate
and rental and leasing (+57,000). Job openings decreased in federal government (-15,000). The number
of job openings was little changed in all four regions. (See table 1.)

Hires

The number of hires was little changed at 5.7 million in March. The hires rate was 3.8 percent. The
hires level was little changed for total private and for government. The number of hires was little
changed in all industries and 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 5.4 million in March. The total separations rate
was 3.6 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private but decreased for
government (-37,000). The number of total separations was little changed in all industries and in all four
regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed in March at 3.4 million. The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The
quits level was little changed for total private and for government. Quits increased in real estate and
rental and leasing (+15,000) but decreased in construction (-38,000). The number of quits increased in
the Northeast region but decreased in the South region. (See table 4.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in March at 1.7 million. The layoffs and
discharges rate was 1.1 percent. The layoffs and discharges level was little changed for total private but
decreased for government (-29,000). The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in state and local
government education (-18,000). 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 March. The other separations level was little
changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in construction (+11,000). The
number of other separations fell in the Northeast 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 March, hires totaled 69.3 million and
separations totaled 66.6 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.7 million. These totals include
workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.



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