Economic News Release

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, January 12, 2016	USDL-16-0040

Technical information:  (202) 691-5870  •  JoltsInfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/jlt
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                         JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – NOVEMBER 2015

The number of job openings was little changed at 5.4 million on the last business day of November, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and separations were little changed at 5.2 million 
and 4.9 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was 2.0 percent, and the layoffs and 
discharges rate was 1.2 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

Job openings were little changed at 5.4 million in November. The job openings rate was 3.7 percent. 
The number of job openings was little changed in November for total private and government. Job 
openings increased in health care and social assistance (+57,000) and decreased in retail trade (-64,000). 
In the regions, job openings increased in the South and decreased in the Midwest over the month. (See 
table 1.)

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in 
November for total nonfarm and total private, and was little changed for government. Job openings rose 
in several industries over the year with the largest changes in health care and social assistance 
(+242,000) and accommodation and food services (+129,000). Job openings decreased over the year in 
information (-48,000) and mining and logging (-8,000). The number of job openings increased over the 
year in the Northeast and South regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

The number of hires was 5.2 million in November, little changed from October. The hires rate was 3.6 
percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private and government in November. There 
was little change in the number of hires in all industries and regions. (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in November, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) was little 
changed for total nonfarm, total private, and government. At the industry level, hires increased in 
accommodation and food services (+104,000) and educational services (+18,000). Hires decreased in 
mining and logging (-9,000). Over the year, hires increased in the West 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 includes separations 
due to retirement, death, and disability, as well as transfers to other locations of the same firm.

There were 4.9 million total separations in November, little changed from October. The total 
separations rate was 3.5 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and 
decreased for government. In November, total separations decreased in state and local government 
(-34,000). The number of total separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

There were 2.8 million quits in November, little changed from October. The number of quits has held 
between 2.7 million and 2.8 million for the past 15 months. The quits rate in November was 2.0 percent. 
The number of quits was little changed for total private and decreased for government over the month. 
Quits rose in construction (+43,000) but fell in state and local government (-18,000). Quits were little 
changed in all four regions over the month. (See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in November for 
total nonfarm and total private, and was little changed for government. Quits increased over the year in 
health care and social assistance (+39,000) and nondurable goods manufacturing (+17,000). Over the 
year, quits decreased in wholesale trade (-28,000) and in real estate and rental and leasing (-18,000). In 
the regions, quits rose in the Midwest. (See table 10.)

There were 1.7 million layoffs and discharges in November, little changed from October. The layoffs 
and discharges rate was 1.2 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed over the 
month for total private and government. Layoffs and discharges was little changed in all four regions. 
(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 November for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of layoffs and 
discharges was little changed over the year in all industries. Layoffs and discharges rose in the Northeast 
over the year. (See table 11.)

In November, there were 409,000 other separations for total nonfarm, little changed from October. 
Over the month, the number of other separations was little changed for total private at 343,000 and fell 
for government to 66,000. (See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not 
available for individual industries or regions.

Over the 12 months ending in November, the number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) 
was little changed for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Other separations increased over the 
year in federal government (+5,000). Other separations were little changed in all four regions over the 
year. (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 November 2015, hires totaled 61.2 
million and separations totaled 58.6 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.6 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 December 2015 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: January 12, 2016
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