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1.8 million more people working in July 2012 than July 2011

There were 3.7 million job openings on the last business day of July, little changed from June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The hires rate (3.2 percent) and separations rate (3.0 percent) were also little changed in July. 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 July was 3.7 million, little changed from June. The number of openings was little changed in all industries except health care and social assistance, where the number decreased. The number of openings was also little changed in all four regions in July. The level of total non-farm job openings in July was up from 2.4 million at the end of the recession in June 2009. (Recession dates are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research.)

The number of job openings in July (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the year for total non-farm, total private, and government. Job openings increased over the year for several industries but fell in mining and logging and arts, entertainment, and recreation. Three of the four regions – Midwest, Northeast, and South – experienced a rise in job openings over the year.

Hires

In July, the hires rate was unchanged at 3.2 percent. The hires rate was little changed in all industries and regions. The number of hires in July was 4.2 million, up from 3.7 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

Over the 12 months ending in July, the hires rate (not seasonally adjusted) was unchanged for total nonfarm and total private but increased for government. The hires rate was little changed in all industries over the year but increased in state and local government. The rate was little changed in all four regions over the year.

Separations

The total separations figure includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. Total separations is also referred to as turnover. Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. Layoffs and discharges are involuntary separations initiated by the employer. Other separations include separations due to retirement, death, and disability, as well as transfers to other locations of the same firm.

The total separations rate was essentially unchanged for total non-farm and total private, and unchanged for government in July. Over the year, the total separations rate (not seasonally adjusted) was unchanged for total no-nfarm, total private, and government.

In July, the quits rate was unchanged for total non-farm, total private, and government. The number of quits was 2.2 million in July, up from 1.8 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) in July rose over the year for total non-farm and total private but was little changed for government. Quits also increased over the year in several industries and in the South; quits declined in finance and insurance.

The layoffs and discharges rate was little changed in July for total non-farm and total private and unchanged for government. The layoffs and discharges rate was essentially unchanged in all four regions in July. The number of layoffs and discharges for total non-farm was 1.6 million in July, down from 2.1 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

The layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total non-farm and total private but decreased for government over the 12 months ending in July 2012. The number of layoffs and discharges was essentially unchanged over the year in all four regions.

In July, there were 344,000 other separations for total non-farm, little changed from the previous month. The number of other separations (not seasonally adjusted) was also little changed over the 12 month ending in July.

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 July 2012, hires totaled 51.4 million and separations totaled 49.6 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.

This post was written by Steven Rothberg and first appeared on CollegeRecruiter.com on September 11, 2012.

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