The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday that the number of job openings and hires increased in May, reflecting a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the last business day of May, the number of job openings increased to 5.4 million while the rate was little changed at 3.9 percent. Job openings rose in accommodation and food services, retail trade and construction.
The number of hires increased by 2.4 million to a series high of 6.5 million in May. This was the largest monthly increase of hires since the series began.
Over the month, the number of total separations decreased by 5.8 million to 4.1 million, the single largest decrease since the series began. Within separations, the quits rate rose to 1.6 percent while the layoffs and discharges rate fell to 1.4 percent.
Over the 12 months ending in May, hires totaled 68.5 million and separations totaled 79.8 million, yielding a net employment loss of 11.3 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year. Enditem