PhotoThere was little change seen in the number of job openings in March with about 5.7 million vacancies.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also reports hires and separations -- at 5.3 million and 5.1 million, respectively -- also held steady.

Job openings

The 5.7 million job openings in March translates to a job openings rate of 3.8%, with little change in the private sector and a slight increase for government.

Openings increased in professional and business services (+126,000), other services (+55,000), and state and local government education (+27,000). Declines were seen in educational services (-43,000) and mining & logging (-8,000).

The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions of the country.


With 5.3 million hires, the rate was 3.6%, with little change in both the private sector and government. There were increases in health care & social assistance (+49,000), but declines in mining & logging (-8,000), and was little change in all four regions.


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

The March total separations rate was 3.5%, with little change for the private sector a a decline for government (-38,000). There was an increase in total separations in health care & social assistance (+67,000) and educational services (+29,000), but a drop in state and local government education (-39,000). Regionally, the number of total separations was little changed.

Net employment change

A change in net employment results from the relationship between hires and separations. When there are more hires that separations, employment rises, even if the hires level is steady or declining.

On the other hand, 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 March, there were 62.9 million hires, while separations totaled 60.5 million. That works out to a net employment gain of 2.3 million.

The totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

The complete report is available on the BLS website.



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