U.S. Job Openings and Quits Rose to 21-Year Highs in March 2022
On May 3, 2022, the U.S Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover news release. Although little changed, the number of job openings on the last business day of March 2022 reached 11.5 million—a high in the history of the series which began in December 2000. The retail trade sector led the way, job openings increasing 155,000 jobs month-over-month at a high, in contrast to the 69,000 jobs decrease in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities sector. Overall job hires remained essentially unchanged at 6.7 million, and the number of total job separations was little changed at 6.3 million (+239,000). Among the three job separation categories the number of layoffs and discharges and other separations were basically unchanged at 1.4 million and 380,000 respectively. In contrast, the number of quits edged up to a series high of 4.5 million (+152,000), with increases of 88,000 quits in professional and business services and 69,000 in construction; and since generally a voluntary separation initiated by the employee, the quits rate that was little changed at 3.0% can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs.