There were 5.133 million job openings on the last business day of February, little changed from 4.965 million in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires were little changed at 4.916 million in February and separations were little changed at 4.650 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.
There were 5.133 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.
There were 4.916 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.
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.
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 4.7 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
Market Consensus Before Announcement
The Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that there were 4.998 million job openings on the last business day of January, little changed from 4.877 million in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires decreased to 4.996 million in January from 5.239 million the prior month. Separations were little changed at 4.821 million versus 4.901 million in December. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.0 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.2 percent.
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.