Republished with permission of the US BLS

 JOB OPENINGS AND LABOR TURNOVER – JUNE 2021

The number of job openings increased to a series high of 10.1 million on the last business day of June, 
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires rose to 6.7 million and total separations edged 
up to 5.6 million. Within separations, the quits rate increased to 2.7 percent. The layoffs and discharges 
rate was unchanged at 0.9 percent, matching the series low reached last month. This release includes 
estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by 
industry, by four geographic regions, and by establishment size class. 
   
Job Openings

On the last business day of June, the job openings level increased to a series high of 10.1 million 
(+590,000). The job openings rate rose to 6.5 percent. Job openings increased in several industries, with 
the largest increases in professional and business services (+227,000); retail trade (+133,000); and 
accommodation and food services (+121,000). The number of job openings increased in the South 
region. (See table 1.)

Hires

In June, the number and rate of hires increased to 6.7 million (+697,000) and 4.6 percent, respectively. 
Hires increased in retail trade (+291,000); state and local government education (+94,000); and durable 
goods manufacturing (+36,000). The number of hires increased in the South and Midwest regions. (See 
table 2.)

Separations

Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. 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 June, the number of total separations edged up to 5.6 million (+254,000). The rate was little changed 
at 3.8 percent. The total separations level increased in professional and business services (+124,000); 
durable goods manufacturing (+48,000); and state and local government, excluding education (+30,000). 
Total separations decreased in state and local government education (-43,000). Total separations was 
little changed in all four regions. (See table 3.)

In June, the quits level and rate increased to 3.9 million (+239,000) and 2.7 percent, respectively. Quits 
increased in professional and business services (+72,000); durable goods manufacturing (+47,000); and 
state and local government, excluding education (+33,000). Quits decreased in state and local 
government education (-26,000). The number of quits increased in the South region. (See table 4.)

In June, the number of layoffs and discharges was little changed at 1.3 million, a series low. The rate 
was unchanged at 0.9 percent, matching last month’s series low. Layoffs and discharges were little 
changed in all four regions. (See table 5.)

The number of other separations increased in June to 405,000 (+58,000). Other separations increased 
in professional and business services (+43,000) and in durable goods manufacturing (+6,000). Other 
separations decreased in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-4,000). The other separations level was 
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 June, hires totaled 72.1 million and separations totaled 65.2 million, 
yielding a net employment gain of 6.9 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired 
and separated more than once during the year.

Establishment Size Class

In June, the job openings rate increased in large establishments with 250-999 employees, 1,000-4,999 
employees, and 5,000 or more employees. The hires rate increased in medium establishments with 50-
249 employees and in large establishments with 250-999 employees and 5,000 or more employees. The 
quits rate and the layoffs and discharges rate for large establishments with 250-999 employees increased 
in June. The other separations rate increased in large establishments with 1,000-4,999 employees. For a 
more in-depth description of the JOLTS establishment size class estimates, please visit 
www.bls.gov/jlt/sizeclassmethodology.htm.

 

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

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