Economic News Release

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, October 7, 2014	USDL-14-1897

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 – AUGUST 2014

There were 4.8 million job openings on the last business day of August, up from 4.6 million in July, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.3 percent) was down and the 
separations rate (3.2 percent) was essentially unchanged in August. 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 4.8 million job openings on the last business day of August and the rate was 3.4 percent. 
This was the highest level of job openings since January 2001. The number of job openings increased 
for total private and was little changed for government in August. (See table 1.) Job openings levels 
went up in nondurable goods manufacturing, health care and social assistance, and in accommodation 
and food services.  Job openings fell in state and local government and were little changed in all four 
regions.

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in August 
2014 for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The job openings level increased in many of the 
industries and in all four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

There were 4.6 million hires in August, down from 4.9 million in July and the rate was 3.3 percent. The 
number of hires decreased for total private and was little changed for government. Hires decreased over 
the month in construction and retail trade and also in the South region. (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in August, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed 
for total nonfarm, total private, government, and in all four regions. The hires level decreased over the 
year for educational services. (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 August and the rate was 3.2 percent. The number of 
separations was little changed from July for total nonfarm, total private, and government. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was little changed in August at 2.5 million. The quits rate measured 1.8 percent for 
the seventh month in a row. The number of quits was also little changed in August for total private, 
government, and all four regions. The number of quits decreased in health care and social assistance 
(See table 4.)

The quits level (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in August for total 
nonfarm and government, and was little changed for total private. Over the year, the number of quits 
increased for several industries and in the Midwest. The quits level was down for information and 
federal government. (See table 10.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in August at 1.6 million and the rate was 1.1 
percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed over the month for total private, 
government, and for all four regions. (See table 5.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of layoffs and 
discharges are not available for individual industries.

The layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months 
ending in August for total nonfarm and total private, and was down for government. The number of 
layoffs and discharges increased for wholesale trade over the year and decreased for educational 
services, accommodation and food services, and state and local government. The number was down in 
the Midwest over the year. (See table 11.)

In August, there were 387,000 other separations for total nonfarm, little changed from July. Over the 
month, the number of other separations was little changed for total private at 322,000 and for 
government at 65,000. (See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not available 
for individual industries or regions.

Over the 12 months ending in August, the number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) was 
little changed for total nonfarm, total private, and 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 August 2014, hires totaled 56.2 
million and separations totaled 53.6 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.5 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 September 2014 are scheduled to be 
released on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. (EST).

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Last Modified Date: October 07, 2014
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