There Remains Over Seven Million Job Openings

The number of job openings was little changed at 7.3 million for May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The number of job openings was little changed for total private, but decreased for government (-54,000). The job openings level increased in other services (+77,000). Job openings decreased in a number of industries, however, with the largest decreases in construction (-65,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-60,000), and real estate and rental and leasing (-49,000).

Over the 12 months ending in May, hires totaled 69.5 million and separations totaled 66.9 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.6 million.

The Bureau also provided data on job 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, disability, and transfers to other locations of the same firm. The number of total separations edged down to 5.5 million (-192,000) in May. The total separations rate was 3.6 percent. The number of total separations edged down for total private (-204,000) and was little changed for government. The total separations level decreased in professional and business services (-95,000).

The number of quits was little changed in May at 3.4 million. The quits rate was 2.3 percent. The quits level edged down for total private (-117,000) and increased for government (+25,000). Quits decreased in professional and business services (-92,000) and real estate and rental and leasing (-16,000), but increased in state and local government education (+18,000).

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in May at 1.8 million. The layoffs and discharges rate was 1.2 percent. The layoffs and discharges level was little changed for total private and for government. The number of layoffs and discharges increased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+36,000).

The number of other separations was little changed in May. The other separations level was little changed for total private and for government. Other separations decreased in professional and business services (-26,000), information (-10,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (-7,000). The other separations level increased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+8,000).