Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary Released for March 2022

On Tuesday (5-3-22), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) for March 2022. According to the JOLTS report, as of the last day in March, the number of job openings was at an all-time series high of 11.5 million, or a rate of 7.1%. This shows only minor changes from the February report. Job openings increased in the South, while holding steady in the remaining three regions.

In March, the number of hires was little changed at 6.7 million, or a rate of 4.5%. The total number and rate of separations inched higher, up to 6.3 million (+239,000), or a rate of 4.2%. The total number of quits edged higher, rising to a series high of 4.5 million (+152,000), or a rate of 3.0%.

The number and rate of layoffs and discharges in March were little changed at 1.4 million and unchanged at 0.9%, respectively. The number of other separations was little changed in March at 380,000. Other separations increased in construction at +12,000; transportation, warehousing, and utilities at +11,000; wholesale trade at +10,000; and educational services at +4,000. The other separations level decreased in information by -6,000. Other separations were little changed in all four regions.

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 March, hires totaled 77.7 million and separations totaled 71.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 6.3 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

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