Economic News Release

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 7, 2015	USDL-15-0562

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 – FEBRUARY 2015

There were 5.1 million job openings on the last business day of February, little changed from 5.0 million 
in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 4.9 million in 
February and separations were little changed at 4.7 million. Within separations, the quits rate was 1.9 
percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was 1.1 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 5.1 million job openings on the last business day of February, little changed from January. 
This was the highest level of job openings since January 2001. The job openings rate for February was 
3.5 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and government and no 
industries posted significant changes from January. Job openings increased in the Midwest region. (See 
table 1.)

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in February 
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 openings increased over the year in all four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

There were 4.9 million hires in February, about the same as in January. The hires rate in February was 
3.5 percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private and government in February. There 
was little to no change in the number of hires in all industries over the month.  In the regions, the 
number of hires increased in the Northeast and decreased in the South. (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in February, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed 
for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of hires was little changed in all industries 
and increased in the Northeast 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 4.7 million total separations in February, about the same as in January. The separations rate 
was 3.3 percent. The number of total separations was little changed in total private and government and 
in all four regions. (See table 3.)

There were 2.7 million quits in February, about the same as in January. The quits rate in February was 
1.9 percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and government over the month. 
The number of quits was changed little in February for all industries and decreased in the Northeast 
region. (See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in February for total 
nonfarm and total private and was little changed for government. Over the year, quits increased in 
professional and business services and in health care and social assistance. The number of quits 
increased over the year in the Midwest and West regions. (See table 10.)

There were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in February, about the same as in January. The layoffs 
and discharges rate was 1.1 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed over the 
month for total private and government, and 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 February for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of layoffs and 
discharges increased in mining and logging, and was changed little in all four regions. (See table 11.)

In February, there were 373,000 other separations for total nonfarm, about the same as in January. 
Over the month, the number of other separations was little changed for total private at 310,000 and was 
little changed for government at 64,000. (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) was 
little changed for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Other separations increased over the year 
in information and in arts, entertainment, and recreation. The number decreased in transportation, 
warehousing, and utilities and in federal government. Other separations were little changed in all four 
regions. (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 2015, hires totaled 59.3 
million and separations totaled 56.1 million, yielding a net employment gain of 3.2 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 2015 are scheduled to be 
released on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).


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Last Modified Date: April 07, 2015
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