Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey Released for August 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today (10-12-21) reported its Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for August 2021. According to the JOLTS report, as of the last business day in August, the number of job openings declined to 10.4 million following a series record high of 10.9 million in July. The job openings rate declined -659,000 or -6.6%.

In August, the number and rate of hires decreased to 6.3 million, a decline of -439,000 and -4.3%, respectively. The number of total separations were 6.0 million or -4.1%. The number of layoffs and discharges were little changed at 1.3 million and 0.9% respectively. The quits level and rate increased to 4.3 million (+242,000) and the quit rate increased to a series high of 2.79%.

This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, and by four geographic regions. The BLS points out that a large numbers of hires and separations occur every month throughout the business cycle. Net employment changes 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 August 2021, hires totaled 72.6 million and separations totaled 66.7 million, yielding a net employment gain of 5.9 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

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