Jobs picture mostly unchanged in latest report

RP news wires
Tags: business management, talent management

There were 2.9 million job openings on the last business day of June 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on August 11. The job openings rate was unchanged over the month at 2.2 percent. The hires rate (3.3 percent) and the separations rate (3.3 percent) were little changed. 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.

Job Openings
The number of job openings in June was 2.9 million, which was little changed from May. Although the month-to-month change is small, the number of job openings has risen by 599,000 (26 percent) since the most recent series trough of 2.3 million in July 2009. Even with the gains since July 2009, the number of job openings remained well below the 4.4 million open jobs when the recession began in December 2007 (as designated by the National Bureau of Economic Research).

The number of job openings in June (not seasonally adjusted) increased from 12 months earlier for total non-farm, total private and government. The job openings level increased in many industries and in two of the four regions – Midwest and South. The level was little changed over the year in the Northeast and West.

Over the 12 months ending in June, the hires rate (not seasonally adjusted) rose for total non-farm, total private and government. The hires rate increased over the past 12 months in many industries and in the Midwest region. The rate fell over the year in other services.

Separations
Total separations includes quits (voluntary separations), layoffs and discharges (involuntary separations), and other separations (including retirements). The total separations, or turnover, rate in June was essentially unchanged for total non-farm and total private but rose for government. The total separations rate (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months ending in June for total non-farm and total private but rose for government.

The quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to change jobs. In June, the quits rate was unchanged at 1.5 percent for total non-farm and was little changed in every industry except government, where it rose. The quits rate fell in June in the Midwest region. The number of quits for total non-farm fell by 1.4 million between the November 2006 peak and the September 2009 trough. Since September 2009, the number of quits has risen by 245,000.

Over the 12 months ending in June, the quits rate (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total non-farm, total private and government. The quits rate increased over the 12 months ending in June in finance and insurance, real estate and rental and leasing, professional and business services, and federal government due to quits of some temporary Census 2010 workers.

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 rate was essentially unchanged in June for total non-farm and total private but increased for government. The number of layoffs and discharges for total non-farm peaked at 2.6 million in January 2009, falling to 2.0 million in June 2010. The number of layoffs and discharges for total private in June (1,693,000) was below the level when the recession began (1,718,000). In government, the number of layoffs and discharges in June (341,000) was higher than when the recession began (117,000) due to the release of temporary Census 2010 workers in May and June.

The layoffs and discharges rate (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed over the 12 months ending in June for total non-farm and total private but rose for government. The layoffs and discharges rate fell over the year in a few industries but rose sharply in federal government, reflecting the layoffs of temporary Census 2010 workers. The layoffs and discharges rate declined over the year in the Northeast region.

The other separations series is not seasonally adjusted. In June, there were 387,000 other separations for total non-farm, 258,000 for total private, and 129,000 for government. Compared to June 2009, the number of other separations was little changed for total non-farm and total private but increased for government. The rise in government other separations is due to state and local government where other separations rose from 82,000 in June 2009 to 123,000 in June 2010.

The total separations level is influenced by the relative contribution of its three components – quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. The percentage of total separations at the total non-farm level attributable to the individual components has varied over time, but for the majority of the series, the proportion of quits has exceeded the proportion of layoffs and discharges.

In June 2010, the proportion of quits was 45 percent and the proportion of layoffs and discharges was 47 percent for total non-farm. For total private, the proportions were relatively steady in June at 48 percent quits and 44 percent layoffs and discharges. In contrast, the proportion of quits in government declined from 31 percent in May to 23 percent in June, and the proportion of layoffs increased from 51 percent in May to 63 percent in June as temporary Census 2010 workers completed their work.

Net Change in Employment
Over the 12 months ending in June, hires totaled 49.8 million and separations totaled 50.0 million, yielding a net employment loss of 200,000. 


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