Posted May 08, 2012 by

Economy Gained 1.9 Million Jobs In Past Year

Bureau of Labor StatisticsThere were 3.7 million job openings on the last business day of March, little changed from February but up significantly from a year earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.3 percent) and separations rate (3.1 percent) were unchanged in March. 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 March was 3.7 million, little changed from February. Job openings increased in the manufacturing sector. The number of total nonfarm job openings has increased by 1.3 million since the end of the recession in June 2009.

The number of job openings in March (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the year for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Job openings increased over the year for durable goods manufacturing, nondurable goods manufacturing, retail trade, health care and social assistance, and state and local government. Job openings in the Midwest and South regions increased over the year.

Hires

In March, the hires rate was unchanged at 3.3 percent for total nonfarm. The hires rate was little changed in all industries and regions. The number of hires in March 2012 was 4.4 million, up from 3.7 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

Over the 12 months ending in March, the hires rate (not seasonally adjusted) was unchanged for total nonfarm and total private but increased for government. The hires rate declined over the year in construction.

Separations

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

The seasonally adjusted total separations rate was unchanged in March for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Over the year, the total separations rate (not seasonally adjusted) was little changed for total nonfarm and total private, but rose in government.

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

The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) in March increased over the year for total nonfarm, total private, and government. The number of quits increased over the year in mining and logging, accommodation and food services, and state and local government. Quits increased in the South region.

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 March for total nonfarm, total private, government and all four regions. The number of layoffs and discharges for total nonfarm was 1.7 million in March 2012, down from 2.1 million at the end of the recession in June 2009.

The layoffs and discharges level (not seasonally adjusted) for total nonfarm, total private, and government was little changed over the 12 months ending in March 2012. Over the year, the number of layoffs and discharges rose for mining and logging. The number of layoffs and discharges was little changed over the year in all four regions.

The other separations component of total separations is seasonally adjusted at the total nonfarm, total private, and government levels. Other separations include separations due to retirement, death, and disability, as well as transfers to other locations of the same firm. In March 2012, there were 323,000 other separations for total nonfarm, 256,000 for total private, and 67,000 for government. The number of other separations for total nonfarm in March 2012 increased from 293,000 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 March 2012, hires totaled 50.7 million and separations totaled 48.8 million, yielding a net employment gain of 1.9 million. These figures include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

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