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There was a little more opportunity to find work in June than there was the month before.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 5.6 million job openings on the last business day of June versus 5.5 million in May. That put the job openings rate at 3.8%. Openings increased in durable goods manufacturing (+37,000) but fell in federal government (-15,000). By region, openings increased in the South.


The number of hires in June was essentially the same as May -- 5.1 million, for a hires rate was 3.6%. Total hiring in private industry and government was little changed, with the number of hires up in the Northeast.


Total separations include quits, layoffs, discharges, and other separations. Total separations is referred to as turnover.

There were 4.9 million total separations in June, about the same as in May. The total separations rate in June was 3.4%, with the number of total separations essentially unchanged over the month for total private and government in all four regions.

The number of quits held steady in June at 2.9 million for a quits rate of 2.0%. The number of quits was little changed for total private, but rose by 18,000 for government. The number of quits was little changed in all four regions.

There were 1.6 million layoffs and discharges in June, essentially unchanged from May. The layoffs and discharges rate was 1.1% as the number of layoffs and discharges held steady for total private and edged down for government (-19,000). The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed over the month in all four regions.

Not much change during June in the number of other separations for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Other separations was essentially unchanged over the month in all four regions.

Net employment change

For the 12 months ending in June, hires totaled 62.3 million and separations totaled 59.8 million, for a net employment gain of 2.5 million. This includes workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

The complete report is available on the BLS website.

Photo © Marzky Ragsac Jr. - Fotolia

Jobless claims

The number of initial jobless claims edged lower last week.

The Department of Labor (DOL) reports there was a seasonally adjusted total of 266,000 first-time applications for state unemployment benefits in the week ending August 6, down 1,000 from the week before.

Initial claims have now been below 300,000 for 75 consecutive weeks -- the longest streak in more than 45 years.

The four-week moving rose by 3,000 in the same week to a seasonally adjusted 262,750. This headcount is less volatile than the weekly tally and is considered a more accurate gauge of the labor market.

The full report is available on the DOL website.

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