Job Openings at Highest Level Since 2001

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported there were 4.8 million job openings (3.4 percent) nationwide on the last business day in August, which was the highest level of job openings since January 2001.
The number of job openings for August is an increase from 4.6 million openings on the last day of July, according to the BLS. Industries that experienced the most monthly gains in job openings were nondurable goods manufacturing, healthcare, social assistance, accommodation, and food service, while there were declines in the number of state and local government job openings, BLS reported.
The number of hires was down in August, however. The 4.6 million new hires in August (3.3 percent) was down slightly from the 4.9 reported in July, according to BLS. The number of hires in non-farm, private, and government jobs remained virtually unchanged while the education field saw a decline in new hires.
The number of separations (also referred to as turnover), which include quits, layoffs, discharges, and other separations, totaled 4.4 million (3.2 percent) for August, BLS reported. The number of quits, or voluntary separations initiated by the employee, was at 2.5 million (1.8 percent) for August, little changed from the previous month. August was the seventh month in a row the quits rate was reported at 1.8 percent, according to BLS. There was little change in quits for private and government jobs, but there were declines in quits reported in the healthcare and social assistance industries, according to BLS.
The number of layoffs and discharges totaled 1.6 million (1.1 percent) for August, also little changed from the previous month. The number of other types of separations (387,000) was little changed in August, according to BLS. Other types of separations may include retirement, death, or disability.
Overall, BLS reported a 2.5 percent net employment gain for August, with hires totaling 56.2 million for the 12-month period ending in August 2014 and separations totaling 53.6 million for that same 12-month period. Those numbers may include workers who were hired and/or separated more than once during that period.


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