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Economic News Release – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

jobs reportJOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – JULY 2015

The number of job openings again rose to a series high of 5.8 million on the last business day of July, 
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of hires and separations edged down to 
5.0 million and 4.7 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was 1.9 percent for the fourth 
month in a row, and the layoffs and discharges rate declined to 1.1 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 increased to a new series high in July, reaching 5.8 million. The prior series high was 5.4 
million in May 2015. The series began in December 2000. The job openings rate for July rose to 3.9 
percent after measuring 3.6 percent in the prior 3 months. The number of job openings rose in July for 
total private and was little changed for government. Several industries experienced a rise in openings in 
July:  professional and business services (+122,000), accommodation and food services (+82,000), retail 
trade (+77,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (+27,000). In the regions, the number of openings 
rose in the Northeast (+154,000) and South (+141,000). (See table 1.)

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in July for 
total nonfarm and total private. The number of job openings for government was little changed. Job 
openings rose over the year for many industries with the largest increases occurring in professional and 
business services (+452,000), health care and social assistance (+174,000), accommodation and food 
services (+141,000), and retail trade (+136,000). Job openings decreased over the year in mining and 
logging (-8,000). The number of job openings increased over the year in all four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

The number of hires was 5.0 million in July, edging down from June. The hires rate was 3.5 percent. 
The number of hires edged down for total private and was little changed for government in July. There 
was little change in the number of hires in all industries and regions over the month. (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in July, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for 
total nonfarm and total private, and rose for government. At the industry level, hires increased in 
accommodation and food services (+113,000) and in federal government (+13,000), but decreased in 
construction (-109,000) and in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-37,000). The number of hires was 
little changed in in all four regions. (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 4.7 million total separations in July, edging down from June. The separations rate was 3.3 
percent. The number of total separations edged down for total private and was little changed for 
government. Total separations decreased in July in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-38,000) and in 
the West region (-184,000), but was little changed in the other industries and regions over the month. 
(See table 3.)

There were 2.7 million quits in July, little changed from June. Although the number of quits has been 
increasing overall since the end of the recession, the number has held between 2.7 million and 2.8 
million for the past 11 months. The quits rate was unchanged in July, measuring 1.9 percent for the 
fourth month in a row. The number of quits was little changed for total private and unchanged for 
government over the month. Quits fell in professional and business services (-57,000) and in the West 
region (-107,000), and was little changed in the other industries and regions in July. (See table 4.)

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in July for total 
nonfarm, total private, and government. Over the year, quits increased in accommodation and food 
services (+101,000), state and local government (+27,000), and educational services (+23,000). Quits 
decreased over the year in finance and insurance (-25,000) and in nondurable goods manufacturing
(-18,000). In the regions, quits increased in the South (+168,000) and Northeast (+67,000), but fell in the 
West (-85,000). (See table 10.)

There were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in July, edging down from June. The layoffs and 
discharges rate fell to 1.1 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges edged down over the month for 
total private and was little changed for government. The number 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) edged down over the 12 months ending 
in July for total nonfarm and total private, and was little changed for government. The number of layoffs 
and discharges rose over the year in mining and logging (+8,000) and in federal government (+5,000), 
but fell in construction (-90,000) and educational services (-23,000). The number of layoffs and 
discharges fell over the year in the Northeast region (-138,000) and was little changed in the other 
regions. (See table 11.)

In July, there were 413,000 other separations for total nonfarm, about the same as in June. Over the 
month, the number of other separations was little changed for total private at 341,000 and increased for 
government to 72,000. (See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not available 
for individual industries or regions.

Over the 12 months ending in July, the number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) increased 
for total nonfarm (+64,000) and for government (+12,000), and edged up for total private (+52,000). 
Other separations increased over the year in several industries, with the largest changes occurring in 
construction (+17,000), health care and social assistance (+16,000), and accommodation and food 
services (+15,000). Other separations decreased over the year in nondurable goods manufacturing 
(-10,000). In the regions, other separations increased in the Midwest (+33,000) and was little changed in 
the other 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 July 2015, hires totaled 60.6 million 
and separations totaled 57.8 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.7 million. These totals 
include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, September 9, 2015 USDL-15-1757 Technical information: (202) 691-5870 • JoltsInfo@bls.gov • www.bls.gov/jlt Media contact: (202) 691-5902 • PressOffice@bls.gov

Original news release by BLS

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