Va. layoffs and discharges down in June
However, 8.6% more workers quit jobs than last year
Virginia companies put the brakes on layoffs in June, even as workers continued to seek new opportunities, refueling the Great Resignation.
Virginia had 28,000 layoffs and discharges in June, a decrease of 13,000 from May, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data released last week. That marked about 25% fewer involuntary separations by employers compared with June 2021. Industries that saw the largest decreases in layoffs and discharges nationally were wholesale and trade, finance and insurance, and the federal government.
However, at the same time, an estimated 114,000 Virginia workers quit their jobs in June, up 4,000 from May and 8.6% higher than in June 2021. Nationally, quits increased among education workers for state and local government (+14,000), while the construction industry saw a big decrease in quits (-51,000). According to the BLS, the number of quits, which includes workers who quit to take new jobs, can be a leading indicator of wage trends.
The rate of Virginians quitting jobs is up a third from five years ago.
Quits nationally remained flat in June at 4.2 million. The 1.3 million layoffs and discharges reported nationally in June were also about the same as May’s numbers. Virginia was one of nine states to see a decrease in layoffs and discharges; involuntary separations increased in five states.
The number of job openings in Virginia in June was 324,000, an increase of 12,000 from the month before, but lower than the record 340,000 job openings seen in March. In June, there was less than one unemployed worker per job opening in Virginia, holding steady over the past few months, marking the lowest rate since January 2021. The number of job openings in the U.S. decreased by 605,000 to 10.7 million. It went down in 19 states and up in two states in June. The job openings rate (job openings as a percentage of total employment) in Virginia was 7.4% in June, lower than the series high of 7.9% in September 2021. However, it is still higher than the national rate of 6.6%.
For June, there was less than one employed worker per job opening in the commonwealth, holding steady over the past few months, according to the Virginia Employment Commission. The peak was in February 2010 when it peaked at 4.4 unemployed workers per job opening. In April 2020, it was 3.3 workers.
The number of hires in Virginia rose by 3,000 to 173,000 in June, 3.6% greater year-over-year and 20% higher than five years prior. A hire is defined as an addition to the payroll.