The number of total separations decreased by 4.8 million to 9.9 million in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Despite the over the month decline, the total separations level is the second highest in series history. Within separations, the quits rate fell to 1.4 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to 5.9 percent. Job openings decreased to 5.0 million on the last business day of April. Over the month, hires declined to 3.5 million, a series low. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it …
The following graph shows job openings (yellow line), hires (dark blue), Layoff, Discharges and other (red column), and Quits (light blue column) from the JOLTS.
This series started in December 2000.
Note: The difference between JOLTS hires and separations is similar to the CES (payroll survey) net jobs headline numbers. This report is for April, the most recent employment report was for May.
Note that hires (dark blue) and total separations (red and light blue columns stacked) are usually pretty close each month. This is a measure of labor market turnover. When the blue line is above the two stacked columns, the economy is adding net jobs – when it is below the columns, the economy is losing jobs.
Jobs openings decreased in April to 5.046 million from 6.011 million in March.
The number of job openings (yellow) were down 31% year-over-year.
Quits were down 49% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).
Job openings decreased sharply in April, and hires were at a series low. Quits declined almost 50% YoY – as expected, a very weak report.