Economic News Release

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

 	
For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 8, 2014	USDL-14-0564

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                    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.
____________	
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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Last Modified Date: April 08, 2014
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