The number of job openings increased to 6.3 million on the last business day of January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.6 million and 5.4 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate and the layoffs and discharges rate were little changed at 2.2 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. 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. The release also includes 2017 annual estimates for hires and separations. The annual number of hires at 65.3 million and the annual number of quits at 38.2 million increased in 2017. The annual number of layoffs and discharges at 20.7 million edged up in 2017. Job Openings On the last business day of January, the job openings level increased to a series high of 6.3 million (+645,000). The job openings level increased for total private (+608,000) and edged up for government. The job openings rate increased to 4.1 percent in January. The number of job openings increased in professional and business services (+215,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+113,000), ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ | Revisions to the JOLTS Data | |Job openings, hires, and separations data have been revised to incorporate annual updates to the | |Current Employment Statistics employment estimates and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) | |seasonal adjustment factors. See the revision section at the end of this release for more information. | |__________________________________________________________________________________________________________| construction (+101,000), and several other industries. The number of job openings increased in the South, Midwest, and West regions. (See table 1.) Hires The number of hires was little changed at 5.6 million in January. The hires rate was little changed at 3.8 percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private and for government. Hires increased in federal government (+10,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions. (See table 2.) 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. There were 5.4 million total separations in January, little changed from December. The total separations rate in January was little changed at 3.7 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and edged down for government. Total separations increased in health care and social assistance (+52,000) but decreased in federal government (-6,000). The number of total separations was little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.) The number of quits was little changed at 3.3 million in January. The quits rate was little changed at 2.2 percent. Over the month, the number of quits was little changed for total private and for government. Quits increased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+13,000) but decreased in professional and business services (-71,000). The number of quits decreased in the West region. (See table 4.) There were 1.8 million layoffs and discharges in January, little changed from December. The layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.2 percent in January. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed for total private and for government. The layoffs and discharges level increased in health care and social assistance (+52,000). Layoffs and discharges were little changed in all four regions. (See table 5.) In January, the number of other separations increased for total nonfarm (+57,000) and for total private (+56,000). The number of other separations was little changed for government. Other separations increased in retail trade (+26,000) but decreased in federal government (-4,000). Other separations increased in the West region. (See table 6.) 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 January, hires totaled 65.4 million and separations totaled 63.2 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.1 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year. Annual Levels and Rates Calculating annual levels and rates allows additional comparisons across years. Annual levels for hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, other separations, and total separations are the sum of the 12 published monthly levels. Annual rates are computed by dividing the annual level by the Current Employment Statistics (CES) annual average employment level, and multiplying that quotient by 100. Consistent with BLS practice, annual estimates are published only for not seasonally adjusted data and are released with the January news release each year. Note that annual estimates are not calculated for job openings because job openings are a stock, or point-in-time, measurement for the last business day of each month. In 2017, there were 65.3 million hires, an increase from 2016. Total separations (the sum of quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations) rose in 2017 to 63.0 million. Quits rose for the eighth consecutive year reaching 38.2 million in 2017 and comprised 61 percent of total separations. Layoffs and discharges edged up in 2017 to 20.7 million and comprised 33 percent of total separations. Other separations declined in 2017 to 4.2 million and comprised 7 percent of total separations. (See tables 13 through 22.) The annual hires for 2017 was 44.5 percent of the annual average CES employment level. This rate has been trending upwards since 2009. The annual total separations rate for 2017 was 43.0 percent. The annual rates for the components of total separations were 26.0 percent for quits, 14.1 percent for layoffs and discharges, and 2.8 percent for other separations.