Washington, DC…The number of job openings increased to a series high of 10.9 million on the last business day of July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires and total separations were little changed at 6.7 million and 5.8 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.7 percent while the layoffs and discharges rate was little changed at 1.0 percent. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the total nonfarm sector, by industry, by four geographic regions, and by establishment size class.
On the last business day of July, the number and rate of job openings increased to series highs of 10.9
million (+749,000) and 6.9 percent, respectively. Job openings increased in several industries, with the
largest increases in health care and social assistance (+294,000); finance and insurance (+116,000); and
accommodation and food services (+115,000). The number of job openings increased in the Northeast,
South, and West regions. (See table 1.)
In July, the number and rate of hires were little changed at 6.7 million and 4.5 percent, respectively.
Hires decreased in retail trade (-277,000), durable goods manufacturing (-41,000), and educational
services (-23,000). The number of hires increased in state and local government education (+33,000) and in
federal government (+21,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions. (See table 2.)
Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Quits are generally
voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of
workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated
by the employer. Other separations includes separations due to retirement, death, disability, and transfers
to other locations of the same firm.
In July, the number and rate of total separations were little changed at 5.8 million and 3.9 percent,
respectively. The total separations level decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-43,000)
and in federal government (-9,000). Total separations increased in the Northeast region. (See table 3.)
The number of quits was little changed in July at 4.0 million. The quits rate was unchanged at 2.7
percent. Quits increased in wholesale trade (+34,000) and in state and local government education
(+14,000). Quits decreased in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-25,000) and in federal
government (-5,000). The number of quits was little changed in all four regions. (See table 4.)
In July, the number and rate of layoffs and discharges were little changed at 1.5 million and 1.0
percent, respectively. Layoffs and discharges increased in professional and business services
(+107,000). Layoffs and discharges were little changed in all four regions. (See table 5.)
The number of other separations was little changed in July at 350,000. Other separations decreased in
health care and social assistance (-16,000), information (-6,000), and real estate and rental and leasing
(-5,000). The other separations level decreased in the West region. (See table 6.)
Net Change in Employment
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 July, hires totaled 72.6 million and separations totaled 65.6 million,
yielding a net employment gain of 7.0 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired
and separated more than once during the year.
Establishment Size Class
In July, the job openings rate increased in medium establishments with 50-249 employees and decreased
in large establishments with 5,000 or more employees. The hires rate decreased in large establishments
with 5,000 or more employees. The total separations rate decreased in large establishments with 5,000 or
more employees. The other separations rate decreased in large establishments with 250-999 employees
and 1,000-4,999 employees. For a more in-depth description of the JOLTS establishment size class
estimates, please visit www.bls.gov/jlt/sizeclassmethodology.htm.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey estimates for August 2021 are scheduled to be
released on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. (ET).
| Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on July 2021 |
| Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey Data |
|More information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the JOLTS survey, including information |
|about the JOLTS estimation methodology, is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/job-openings-and-labor- |