There were 2.7 million job openings on the last business day of January 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on March 9. The job openings rate rose over the month to 2.1 percent, the highest the rate has been since February 2009. The hires rate (3.1 percent) and the separations rate (3.2 percent) were unchanged in January. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires and separations for the total non-farm sector by industry and geographic region. This release also includes annual estimates for hires and separations. The annual totals for hires and quits decreased in 2009 while the annual total for layoffs and discharges increased.

Job Openings
The job openings rate increased in January to 2.1 percent, the highest the rate has been since February 2009. In January, the job openings rate increased in education and health services.

Over the 12 months ending in January, the job openings rate (not seasonally adjusted) was essentially unchanged for total non-farm, total private and government. The job openings rate increased over the year in construction, durable goods manufacturing, wholesale trade, information and federal government. The job openings rate decreased over the 12-month period in retail trade and educational services.

Hires
The hires rate was unchanged in January, remaining at 3.1 percent. The rate has remained between 3.0 percent and 3.2 percent since November 2008. After falling from the most recent peak of 5.6 million hires in January 2005, the hires level reached a low point of 3.9 million in June 2009. In January 2010, the hires level was 4.1 million. The hires rate was essentially unchanged in January for all industries and all four regions.

Over the 12 months ending in January, the hires rate (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total non-farm and total private, but fell for government. Over the 12 months ending in January, the hires rate increased for durable goods manufacturing and decreased for wholesale trade, health care and social assistance, and the South region.

Separations
Total separations includes quits (voluntary separations), layoffs and discharges (involuntary separations), and other separations (including retirements). The total separations, or turnover, rate was unchanged in January for total non-farm and remained low at 3.2 percent. The rate was also unchanged for total private, but fell for government. The total separations rate (not seasonally adjusted) decreased over the 12 months ending in January for total non-farm and total private while the rate for government was unchanged.

The quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to change jobs. In January, the quits rate was little changed for total non-farm (1.4 percent), total private (1.6 percent) and government (0.5 percent). The rate rose over the month in construction and arts, entertainment, and recreation. After falling from the most recent peak of 3.2 million in November 2006, the number of quits has held steady at 1.7 million or 1.8 million since April 2009.

Over the 12 months ending in January, the quits rate (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total non-farm and government, but decreased for total private. The quits rate increased over the year in educational services and arts, entertainment and recreation; the rate decreased in mining and logging, durable goods manufacturing and retail trade. The quits rate fell over the year in the Midwest and was essentially unchanged in the other regions.

The layoffs and discharges component of total separations is seasonally adjusted at the total non-farm, total private and government levels. The layoffs and discharges level for total non-farm (1.9 million) and total private (1.8 million) were essentially unchanged in January, while the level for government (110,000) fell. The corresponding layoffs and discharges rates were 1.5 percent, 1.7 percent and 0.5 percent. The number of layoffs and discharges at the total non-farm level peaked at 2.6 million in January 2009; the most recent trough was 1.6 million in January 2006.

The layoffs and discharges rate (not seasonally adjusted) fell over the 12 months ending in January for total non-farm and total private, and was little changed for government. The layoffs and discharges rate fell over the year in many industries, including construction, durable goods manufacturing, non-durable goods manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, finance and insurance, real estate and rental and leasing, and other services. Regionally, the rate fell over the year in three of the four regions – Midwest, Northeast and South. The layoffs and discharges rate did not rise over the year in any industry or region.

Read the full report and view all of the data tables by clicking on the link below:

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm