The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has posted its Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for October 2020. According to the JOLTS report the number of job openings was little changed from September at 6.7 million, which is a rate of 4.5%, as of the last business day of October. Hires were little changed at 5.8 million while separations increased to 5.1 million. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.2%, while the layoffs and discharges rate increase to 1.2%. The number of job openings in October (not seasonally adjusted) decreased over the year to 7.1 million (-596,000) reflecting the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market. Job openings decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in retail trade, accommodation and food services, and finance and insurance. Only nondurable goods manufacturing and durable goods manufacturing had increases in job openings. The JOLTS report points out that large numbers of hire and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle. Over the 12 months ending in October, hires totaled 70.4 million and separations totaled 76.1 million, yielding a net employment loss of -5.7 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.
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Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary