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Job Openings Declined to 3.4 Million in April

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—June 19, 2012.  There were 3.4 million job openings on the last business day of April, down from 3.7 million in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.1 percent) and separations rate (3.1 percent) were essentially unchanged in April. This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by geographic region.

Job Openings

The number of job openings in April was 3.4 million, a decline from March. (See table 1.) Job openings decreased for total nonfarm, total private, and government as well as in manufacturing, professional and business services, and state and local government. The number of openings also decreased in April for the Midwest region. Although the number of total nonfarm job openings declined in April, the number of openings was 1.0 million higher than at the end of the recession in June 2009.

The number of job openings in April (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the year for total nonfarm and total private but was little changed for government. Job openings increased over the year for several industries and the Northeast and South regions. (See table 5.)

Hires

In April, the hires rate was little changed at 3.1 percent for total nonfarm. The hires rate was little changed in all industries and regions. (See table 2.) The number of hires in April 2012 was 4.2 million, up from 3.7 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

Over the 12 months ending in April, the hires rate (not seasonally adjusted) was unchanged for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The hires rate declined over the year in construction but rose in finance and insurance. (See table 6.)

Separations

The total separations figure includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations, including retirements. Total separations is also referred to as turnover.

The seasonally adjusted total separations rate was unchanged for total nonfarm and government, and little changed for total private in April. (See table 3.) Over the year, the total separations rate (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total nonfarm and total private, and unchanged for government. (See table 7.)

The quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to change jobs. In April, the quits rate was unchanged for total nonfarm, and essentially unchanged for total private and government. (See table 4.) The number of quits was 2.1 million in April 2012, up from 1.8 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) in April increased over the year for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of quits increased over the year in several industries. (See table 8.)

The layoffs and discharges component of total separations is seasonally adjusted at the total nonfarm, total private, and government levels and for the four regions. The layoffs and discharges rate displayed little or no change in April for total nonfarm, total private, government, and all four regions. (See table B.) The number of layoffs and discharges for total nonfarm was 1.7 million in April 2012, down from 2.1 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

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 April 2012, hires totaled 50.9 million and separations totaled 49.1 million, yielding a net employment gain of 1.8 million. These figures include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

Source: bls.gov

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