Economic News Release

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, May 12, 2015	USDL-15-0888

Technical information:  (202) 691-5870  •  JoltsInfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/jlt
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov

                         JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – MARCH 2015

There were 5.0 million job openings on the last business day of March, little changed from 5.1 million in 
February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 5.1 million in 
March and separations were little changed at 5.0 million. Within separations, the quits rate was 2.0 
percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was 1.3 percent; both rates were little different from the 
previous month. 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 5.0 million job openings on the last business day of March, little changed from February. 
The job openings rate for March was 3.4 percent. The job openings level was little changed for total 
private and government. Job openings decreased in health care and social assistance but increased in 
arts, entertainment, and recreation. The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions. 
(See table 1.)

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in March 
for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Job openings increased over the year for many 
industries including professional and business services, health care and social assistance, and 
accommodation and food services. Job openings decreased over the year in mining and logging. The 
number of job openings increased over the year in all four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

There were 5.1 million hires in March, little changed from February. The hires rate in March was 3.6 
percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private and government in March. There was 
little or no change in the number of hires in all industries and regions over the month. (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in March, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) increased for total 
nonfarm and total private and was little changed for government. Hires increased in wholesale trade as 
well as in accommodation and food services. The number of hires decreased in mining and logging. The 
number of hires increased 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 5.0 million total separations in March, little changed from February. The separations rate 
was 3.5 percent. The number of total separations was little changed in total private and government but 
increased in the Midwest region. (See table 3.)

There were 2.8 million quits in March, little changed from February. The quits rate in March was 2.0 
percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and government over the month. The 
number of quits increased in March for retail trade as well as for accommodation and food services. 
Quits decreased in health care and social assistance. Over the month the number of quits was little 
changed in all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in March for total 
nonfarm, total private, and government. Over the year, quits increased in several industries including 
retail trade, health care and social assistance, and accommodation and food services. The number of 
quits increased over the year in the Northeast, Midwest, and West regions. (See table 10.)

There were 1.8 million layoffs and discharges in March, about the same as in February. The layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.3 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed over the month 
for total private and government, and increased in the Midwest region. (See table 5.) Seasonally adjusted 
estimates of layoffs and discharges are not available for individual industries.

The number of layoffs and discharges (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months 
ending in March for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of layoffs and discharges 
increased in mining and logging but decreased in health care and social assistance. There was little 
change in layoffs and discharges in all four regions. (See table 11.)

In March, there were 407,000 other separations for total nonfarm, about the same as in February. Over 
the month, the number of other separations was little changed for total private at 338,000 and unchanged 
for government at 69,000. (See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not 
available for individual industries or regions.

Over the 12 months ending in March, the number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) was 
little changed for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Other separations decreased over the year 
in real estate and rental and leasing but increased in professional and business services. Other 
separations increased in the West region. (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 March 2015, hires totaled 59.7 
million and separations totaled 56.7 million, yielding a net employment gain of 3.0 million. These 
totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
____________
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey results for April 2015 are scheduled to be released 
on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).


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Last Modified Date: May 12, 2015
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