The separations rate comes from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics each month. It includes all types of ways in which employees can lose their job, both involuntary (fires, layoffs) and voluntary (quits). The rate in SONAR is a percentage calculated using the following formula:
EMPSEP = (# of separations / # of employees) *100
In SONAR, the separations data is tracked at the following granularities:
CONS – construction
NFRM – total nonfarm
MFTG – manufacturing
Economists, employers, analysts
The separations rate is another measure of the state of the labor market, but typically requires additional context to interpret properly. A rising separations rate can be a bad thing, if it is driven by layoffs and firings, but can also be a positive sign if more workers are leaving their jobs voluntarily.