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Job Openings and Labor Turnover October 2014

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey News Release

There were 4.8 million job openings on the last business day of October, little changed from 4.7 million in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires (5.1 million) and separations (4.8 million) were steady in October. Within separations, the quits rate (1.9 percent) was little changed and the layoffs and discharges rate (1.2 percent) was 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.

Job Openings

There were 4.8 million job openings on the last business day of October. The job openings rate was 3.3 percent. The number of job openings was little changed for total private and declined for government in October. (See table 1.) The level of job openings decreased for state and local government. The job openings level was little changed in all four regions.

The number of job openings (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in October for total nonfarm and total private, and was little changed for government. The job openings level increased over the year for many industries, including both professional and business services and accommodation and food services. The number of openings also increased over the year in all four regions. (See table 7.)

Hires

The hires level was unchanged at 5.1 million in October, maintaining the prior month’s increase. The hires rate in October was 3.6 percent. The number of hires was little changed for total private and government. Hires increased over the month in retail trade and was little changed in all four regions.  (See table 2.)

Over the 12 months ending in October, the number of hires (not seasonally adjusted) increased for total nonfarm and total private, and was little changed for government. The hires level increased over the year in many industries, including retail trade and professional and business services. The number of hires increased in the Midwest and South regions. (See table 8.)

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 include separations due to retirement, death, and disability, as well as transfers to other locations of the same firm.

There were 4.8 million total separations in October, little changed from September. The separations rate was 3.5 percent. The number of total separations was little changed for total private and government and in all four regions. (See table 3.)

The number of quits was unchanged at 2.7 million in October, maintaining the prior month’s increase. The quits rate in October was 1.9 percent. The number of quits was little changed for total private and government. The quits level increased in retail trade and decreased in the Midwest region. (See table 4.)

The quits level (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in October for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Over the year, the number of quits increased for many industries, including both retail trade and health care and social assistance. The number of quits also increased over the year in three out of the four regions: Northeast, South, and West. (See table 10.)

The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed in October at 1.7 million. The rate was 1.2 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed over the month for total private, unchanged for government, and rose in the Midwest region. (See table 5.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of layoffs and discharges are not available for individual industries.

The layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months ending in October for total nonfarm. The number increased for total private and decreased for government. The number of layoffs and discharges increased over the year in three industries: nondurable goods manufacturing; transportation, warehousing, and utilities; and professional and business services. The number decreased over the year in three industries: mining and logging; real estate and rental and leasing; and federal government. The number of layoffs and discharges rose over the year in the Midwest region. (See table 11.)

In October, there were 405,000 other separations for total nonfarm, little changed from September. Over the month, the number of other separations was little changed for total private at 331,000 and for government at 74,000. (See table 6.) Seasonally adjusted estimates of other separations are not available for individual industries or regions.

Over the 12 months ending in October, the number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) rose for total nonfarm and total private, and was little changed for government. The number rose over the year for many industries, including retail trade and professional and business services. The number fell over the year in finance and insurance. (See table 12.)

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 October 2014, hires totaled 57.2

million and separations totaled 54.5 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.6 million. These figures include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

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