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Job openings drop by almost 30%

January 13 2009

The number of U.S. job openings in November dropped by almost 30% year-over-year to 2.8 million, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The job openings rate was 2.0% in November, compared with 2.8% a year ago.

The number of hires in November fell by 24% year-over-year to 3.5 million, according to the BLS. The hires rate was 2.6% in November, down from 3.4% in November 2007.

Separations declined by just 7.3% year-over-year in November to 4.3 million. The separations rate was 3.2% in November, compared with 3.4% a year ago. Separations are the total number of terminations of employment in a given month — including quits, layoffs, firings and retirements among other things.

The BLS said it will introduce improved methodology in tracking job openings, hires and separations effective with the January 2009 data to be released March 10.

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