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US job openings reach record high along with quits rate

The Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey painted a picture of strength and worker confidence in the labor market. The data for the month of July showed job openings at around 7 million while the quits rate was the highest since 2001.

Job openings were 6.9 million in July, up 12% from last year and up 117,000 from 6.8 million in June. The job openings rate stood at 4.4%. Job vacancies surpassed the number of unemployed people by 659,000. New hires were 5.7 million with a hiring rate of 3.8% while separations were 5.5 million with a separations rate of 3.7%.

The quits rate at 2.4% was the highest since 2001

The quits rate, which indicates the number of people who left their jobs voluntarily, stood at 3.6 million or 2.4% which was up from 3.5 million or 2.3% in June. The high quits rate shows worker confidence in the jobs market and a healthy level of employment. Layoffs stood at 1.6 million while the layoffs rate was 1.1%.

The professions that saw increases in job openings were manufacturing along with finance and insurance while the sectors that saw decreases were retail, education and federal government. The number of quits increased in education as well as accommodation and food services.

Over the 12 months ending July, total hires were 66.7 million while total separations stood at 64.2 million, amounting to a net employment gain of 2.5 million.

Last week, the government reported an increase of 2.9% in average hourly earnings for the month of August, up from 2.7% in July. Growth in jobs and wages are indicators of upcoming interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

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