The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has posted its Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for July 2020. According to the JOLTS report the number of job openings increased to 6.6 million as of the last business day of July. Hires decreased to 5.8 million in July. Total separations were little changed at 5.0 million. Within separations, the quits rate rose to 2.1%, while the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to 1.2%. These changes in the labor market reflected an ongoing resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. Hires decreased in a number of industries, with the largest fall in food services and accommodation (-599,000), followed by other services (-143,000), and health care and social assistance (-137,000). Hires increased in federal government (+33,000), largely because of Census hiring. Hires also increased in real estate and rental and leasing (+26,000). Over the 12 months ending in July, hires totaled 70.2 million and separations totaled 78.5 million, yielding a net employment loss of 8.2 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
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