The number of job openings in the country declined slightly from August to September, while the number of hires and separations both increased, according to the September 2014 Job Openings and Labor Turnover report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday.
On the last business day of September, there were 4.7 million job openings in the U.S., down slightly from 4.9 million on the last business day of August, according to BLS. The job openings rate, which is the number of job openings on the last business day of the month as a percent of total employment plus job openings, was reported at 3.3 percent for September, down slightly from 3.4 percent in August but up from 2.8 percent in September 2013, BLS reported.
Total nonfarm, total private sector, and government job openings increased over the 12-month period ending on September 30, 2014, in many industries, including mining/logging, manufacturing, trade/transportation/utilities, information, financial activities, business/professional services, leisure/hospitality, and government.
The number of hires in the U.S. increased from 4.7 million in August to 5.0 million in September, their highest level since December 2007, according to BLS. The number of hires for total nonfarm, total private sector, and government jobs all increased for the 12-month period ending on September 30. Professional/business services, health care, and social assistance jobs all saw an increase in hires for the 12-month period, while real estate, rental, and leasing hires declined.
The rate of total separations, or turnover, for the month of September rose up to 4.8 million from August's total of 4.5 million, according to BLS. Turnover includes quits, layoffs, discharges, and other separations which may include death, disability, retirement, or transfers to other locations within the same company. The separations rate, which is the number of total separations during the entire month as a percent of total employment, was 3.4 percent for September.
The number of quits, which are defined as voluntary separations initiated by the employee, increased from 2.5 million in August to 2.8 million in September, their highest level since April 2008. The quits rate was 2.0 percent for September, according to BLS.
For layoffs and discharges, which are defined as involuntary separations initiated by the employer, changed little from August to September, raising slightly from 1.62 million to 1.65 million, according to BLS. The layoff/discharge rate held steady from August to September at 1.2 percent. There were 388,000 other separations in September, a slight decline from 402,000 in August.