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July 13, 2009
Hiring Rate Slowest Since 2000

The hiring rate has slipped to the lowest point since the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it in December 2000.

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The hire rate was at 3.0 percent in May. To calculate the hire rate, the bureau includes the total number of additions to the payroll occurring at any time during the month.

That includes both new and rehired employees, full-time and part-time, permanent, short-term and seasonal employees, employees recalled to the location after a layoff lasting more than 7 days, on-call or intermittent employees who returned to work after having been formally separated, and transfers from other locations. The hires rate is computed by dividing the number of hires by employment and multiplying that quotient by 100.

Meanwhile, the total separations rate declined over the month (3.3 percent). Total separations include quits (voluntary separations), layoffs and discharges (involuntary separations), and other separations (including retirements). The job openings rate remained unchanged in May at 1.9 percent. Since May 2008, the number of job openings has declined by 1.5 million, or 36 percent.

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