|Job Openings||4.975M||4.900M to 5.000M||5.028M||4.972M||4.847M|
There were 5.028 million job openings on the last business day of December, slightly improved from 4.847 million in November. Hires (5.148 million) and separations (4.886 million) were little changed in December. Within separations, the quits rate (1.9 percent) and the layoffs and discharges rate (1.2 percent) were unchanged. 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.
There were 5.148 million hires in December, slightly higher than November's 5.054 million. This was the highest level of hires since November 2007. The hires rate in December was 3.7 percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private and government. Hires increased over the month in construction.
Total separations include quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations are 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 4.9 million total separations in December, little changed from November. This was the highest level of separations since October 2008. The separations rate was 3.5 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and government.
There were 2.717 million quits in December, little changed from November. The quits rate in December was 1.9 percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and government. Quits increased in construction and durable goods manufacturing. The number of quits was little changed in all four regions.
Overall, the JOLTS numbers portray a slowly improving jobs market with job openings rising along with hires.
Market Consensus Before Announcement
The Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed 4.972 million job openings on the last business day of November, little changed from 4.830 million in October. Hires (4.990 million) were little changed and separations (4.623 million) declined in November. Within separations, the quits rate (1.9 percent) was unchanged and the layoffs and discharges rate (1.2 percent) was little changed. The job openings rate was 3.4 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and increased for government in November.
The JOLTS report is the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The headline number is job openings.
The JOLTS report defines Job Openings as all positions that are open (not filled) on the last business day of the month. A job is "open" only if it meets all three of the following conditions:
* A specific position exists and there is work available for that position. The position can be full-time or part-time, and it can be permanent, short-term, or seasonal, and
* The job could start within 30 days, whether or not the establishment finds a suitable candidate during that time, and
* There is active recruiting for workers from outside the establishment location that has the opening.
Active recruiting means the establishment is taking steps to fill a position. It may include advertising in newspapers, on television, or on radio; posting Internet notices; posting "help wanted" signs; networking with colleagues or making "word of mouth" announcements; accepting applications; interviewing candidates; contacting employment agencies; or soliciting employees at job fairs, state or local employment offices, or similar sources.
Job Openings does not include:
* Positions open only to internal transfers, promotions or demotions, or recall from layoffs
* Openings for positions with start dates more than 30 days in the future
* Positions for which employees have been hired, but the employees have not yet reported for work
* Positions to be filled by employees of temporary help agencies, employee leasing companies, outside contractors, or consultants. A separate form is used to collect information from temporary help/employee leasing firms for these employees.
JOLTS defines hires as all additions to the payroll during the month. JOLTS defines separations as all employees separated from the payroll during the calendar month.
Although lagging the release timing of the employment situation report by a month, JOLTS provides additional information on the labor market. The payroll survey in the employment situation report provides numbers on net job changes. JOLTS breaks down labor market data into pre-net changessuch as job openings, hires, and separations.