Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey Released for September 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today (11-12-21) reported its Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for September 2021. According to the report, as of the last business day in September, the number and rate of job openings was little changed at 10.4 million and 6.6%. The record high was 10.9 million set in July 2021.

Job openings increased in health care and social assistance, state and local government (excluding education), wholesale trade, and information. Job openings decreased in state and local government education, other services, real estate, and rental and leasing and educational services. In September, the number and rate of hires were 6.5 million and 4.4%, respectively.

The number of total separations were little changed at 6.2 million and 4.2%, respectively. The number of layoffs and discharges rates were at 1.4 million and 0.9%, respectively. The quits level and rate increased to 4.4 million (+164,000) and the quit rate increased to a series high of 3.0%, respectively.

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 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 September 2021, hires totaled 73.3 million and separations totaled 67.7 million, yielding a net employment gain of 5.6 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

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