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Wed Jun 10, 2020, 09:28 AM

BLS Report: Total separations fall in April to 9.9 million; job openings and hires also fall

People come; people go.

This is JOLTS, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. It comes out a few days after the monthly payroll employment report.

The number of quits indicates how confident people are of finding another job if they leave the one they have.

Tue May 19, 2020: BLS Report: Total separations increase to a series high; job openings and hires decrease in March

Tue Apr 7, 2020: BLS Report: Job openings at 6.9 million, hires, and separations little changed in February

Tue Mar 17, 2020: BLS Report: Job openings rise to 7.0 million in January; hires and separations little changed

Wed Feb 12, 2020: BLS Report: Job openings fall to 6.4 million in December; hires and separations little changed

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 (a late release): BLS Report: Job openings fall to 6.8 million in November; hires and separations little changed

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Total separations fall in April to 9.9 million; job openings and hires also fall

Economic News Release USDL-20-1185

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Technical information: (202) 691-5870 • JoltsInfo@bls.gov • www.bls.gov/jlt
Media contact: (202) 691-5902 • PressOffice@bls.gov

JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – APRIL 2020

The number of total separations decreased by 4.8 million to 9.9 million in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Despite the over the month decline, the total separations level is the second highest in series history. Within separations, the quits rate fell to 1.4 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to 5.9 percent. Job openings decreased to 5.0 million on the last business day of April. Over the month, hires declined to 3.5 million, a series low. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, and by four geographic regions.


Job Openings

On the last business day of April, the number of job openings declined to 5.0 million (-965,000). The job openings rate was little changed at 3.7 percent. Job openings fell in total private (-883,000) and in government (-82,000). Among the industries, the largest declines were in professional and business services (-309,000), health care and social assistance (-115,000), and retail trade (-113,000). The number of job openings decreased in all four regions. (See table 1.)
________________________________________________________________________________________

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 2020 JOLTS Data

Data collection for the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey was affected by the coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic. More information is available at the end of this news release and
[www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-april-2020.htm]
________________________________________________________________________________________


Hires

In April, the number and rate of hires decreased to series lows of 3.5 million (-1,587,000) and 2.7 percent, respectively. The hires level decreased for total private (-1,439,000) and for government (-148,000). Hires decreased in a number of industries, with the largest declines in professional and business services (-422,000), accommodation and food services (-247,000), and construction (-196,000). The number of hires decreased 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.

In April, the number and rate of total separations decreased to 9.9 million (-4,755,000) and 7.5 percent, respectively. Total separations decreased in many industries, with the largest decreases in accommodation and food services (-3,001,000), professional and business services (-473,000), and retail trade (-460,000). The number of total separations increased in real estate and rental and leasing (+47,000), state and local government, excluding education (+46,000), and information (+42,000). Total separations decreased in all four regions. (See table 3.)

In April, the number and rate of quits decreased to 1.8 million (-1,003,000) and 1.4 percent, respectively. Quits fell to 1.6 million (-976,000) for total private and 143,000 (-27,000) for government. Quits decreased in a number of industries, with the largest decreases in accommodation and food services (-249,000) and professional and business services (-216,000). The number of quits decreased in all four regions. (See table 4.)

The number and rate of layoffs and discharges decreased in April to 7.7 million (-3,773,000) and 5.9 percent, respectively. The number of layoffs and discharges decreased for total private to 7.5 million (-3,816,000) but increased for government to 216,000 (+43,000). The layoffs and discharges level decreased significantly in several industries. The majority of the decline occurred in accommodation and food services (-2,738,000) followed by retail trade (-338,000). Layoffs and discharges increased in construction (+85,000), information (+53,000), and wholesale trade (+50,000). The number of layoffs and discharges decreased in all four regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations was little changed in April. The other separations level was little changed for total private and for government. Other separations increased in professional and business services (+29,000) and health care and social assistance (+19,000). The number of other separations decreased in accommodation and food services (-15,000). Other separations were little changed in all four regions. (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 April, hires totaled 67.2 million and separations totaled 81.1 million, yielding a net employment loss of 13.9 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
____________
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates for May 2020 are scheduled to be released on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on April 2020 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Data

Data collection for the JOLTS survey was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While 42
percent of data are usually collected by phone at the JOLTS data collection center, most phone
respondents were asked to report electronically via our data collection website. However, data
collection was adversely impacted due to the inability to reach some respondents that normally respond
by phone. The JOLTS response rate for April was 44 percent, while response rates prior to the pandemic
averaged 54 percent.

BLS modified the JOLTS estimates for April to better reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic. The estimation process usually includes an alignment of monthly hires minus separations to the
over-the-month change in the Current Employment Statistics (CES) employment estimates. For April
estimates, however, BLS suspended the alignment process because the differing reference periods for the
CES employment estimates (pay period including the 12th of the month) and the JOLTS hires and
separations estimates (the entire reference month) led to substantially different measurement outcomes.
For more information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the JOLTS survey, including more
information about the JOLTS estimation methodology, please see
www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor-turnover-covid19-april-2020.htm
________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________
Table A. Job openings, hires, and total separations by industry, seasonally adjusted
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Technical Note
Table 1. Job openings levels and rates by industry and region, seasonally adjusted
Table 2. Hires levels and rates by industry and region, seasonally adjusted
Table 3. Total separations levels and rates by industry and region, seasonally adjusted
Table 4. Quits levels and rates by industry and region, seasonally adjusted
Table 5. Layoffs and discharges levels and rates by industry and region, seasonally adjusted
Table 6. Other separations levels and rates by industry and region, seasonally adjusted
Table 7. Job openings levels and rates by industry and region, not seasonally adjusted
Table 8. Hires levels and rates by industry and region, not seasonally adjusted
Table 9. Total separations levels and rates by industry and region, not seasonally adjusted
Table 10. Quits levels and rates by industry and region, not seasonally adjusted
Table 11. Layoffs and discharges levels and rates by industry and region, not seasonally adjusted
Table 12. Other separations levels and rates by industry and region, not seasonally adjusted
HTML version of the entire news release
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