September job openings edged up slightly to a very abundant 6.093 million from a revised 6.090 million in August. Over the month, hires and separations were also little changed at 5.3 million and 5.2 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate and the layoffs and discharges rate were little changed at 2.2 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
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. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.