Record High Job Quitting; Record Low Layoff Rate, MarketWatch 666, AB Commenter and Blogger RJS
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report for April from the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated seasonally adjusted job openings jumped by by 998,000, from 8,288,000 in March to 9,286,000 job openings in April, after March’s record job openings were revised 165,000 higher, from 8,123,000 to 8,288,000 . . . April’s jobs openings were up by 37.5% from the beginning of this year, and also more than double the 4,630,000 job openings reported for April a year ago, as the job opening ratio expressed as a percentage of the employed rose from 5.4% in March to 6.0% in April, and it was up from 3.4% a year ago . . . the greatest percentage increase in April job openings was in the accommodation and food services sector, where openings jumped by 349,000 to 1,338,000, while job openings in private educational services services fell by 23,000 to 883,000… (details on job openings by industry and region can be viewed in Table 1) . . . like most BLS releases, the press release for this report is easy to understand and also refers us to the associated table for the data cited, which are linked to at the end of the release . . .
The JOLTS release also reports on labor turnover, which consists of hires and job separations, which in turn is further divided into layoffs and discharges, those who quit, and ‘other separations’, which includes retirements and deaths . . . in April, seasonally adjusted new hires totaled 6,075,000, up by 69,000 from the revised 6,006,000 who were hired or rehired in March, as the hiring rate as a percentage of all those employed remained at 4.2%, but was up from the 3.0% hiring rate in April a year earlier (details of hiring by industry since December are in table 2) . . . meanwhile, total separations also rose, by 324,000, from 5,436,000 in March to 5,760,000 in April, as the separations rate as a percentage of the employed rose from 3.8% in March to 4.0% in April, which was still way down from the pandemic hit separations rate of 9.1% in April a year ago (see table 3)…subtracting the 5,760,000 total separations from the total hires of 6,075,000 would imply an increase of 315,000 jobs in April, a bit less than the revised payroll job increase of 278,000 for April reported by the May establishment survey last week, but still within the expected +/-110,000 margin of error in these incomplete extrapolations…
Breaking down the seasonally adjusted job separations, the BLS found that 3,952,000 of us voluntarily quit our jobs in April, up by 384,000 from the revised 3,568,000 who quit their jobs in March, while the quits rate, widely watched as an indicator of worker confidence, rose from a record high of 2.5% in March to new record high of 2.7% in April, which was also up from the quits rate of 1.6% a year earlier (see details in table 4) . . . in addition to those who quit, another 1,525,000 were either laid off, fired or otherwise discharged in April, down by 198,000 from the revised 1,723,000 who were discharged in March, as the discharges rate fell from 1.1% to a record low of 1.0% of all those who were employed during the month, which was also way down from the 7.2% rate of a year earlier . . . mean – while, other separations, which includes retirements and deaths, were at 364,000 in April, up from 343,000 in March, for an ‘other separations’ rate of 0.3%, up from 0.2% in March but the same rate as in April a year ago . . . both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted details by industry and by region on hires and job separations, and on job quits and discharges can be accessed using the links to tables at the bottom of the press release . . .