PhotoThere were fewer job openings at the end of May than there were the month before.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs up for grabs had dropped to 5.7 million on the last business day of May, from 6.044 million in April. That put the job openings rate at 3.7%.

Openings for the private sector employment fell by 283,000 and were little changed for government. Increases came in retail trade (+72,000) and educational services (+17,000). A number of suffered declines including in construction (-46,000) and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-45,000). The number of job openings decreased in the Midwest.


The number of hires jumped by 429,000 to 5.5 million for a rate of 3.7%. Hires increased for the private sector (+423,000) but was little changed for government. There were increases in professional and business services (+121,000), other services (+78,000), and educational services (+25,000), with the number of hires increasing in the South.


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

The number of total separations shot up by 251,000 to 5.3 million in May, with the total separations rate rising from 3.4% in April to 3.6%. While there was little change for government, total separations were up by 245,000, led by in retail trade (+73,000) but falling in the federal government (-8,000). The number of total separations rose in the South.

Net employment change

Net employment change results from the relationship between hires and separations. When the number of hires is higher, employment rises. On the other hand, when the number of hires is less than the number of separations, employment declines.

Over the 12 months ending in May, hires totaled 63.2 million and separations totaled 60.9 million. The result is a net employment gain of 2.4 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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