The number of US job openings rose by 645,000 in January from the prior month to a to a record-high 6.3 million, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hires and separations also edged up.
The job openings rate — a measure of job openings compared with total employment — was 4.1% January, up from 3.7% in December.
The number of job openings increased by 215,000 in professional and business services and by 113,000 in transportation, warehousing, and utilities.
MarketWatch reported the surge in job openings shows that businesses are still eager to hire nearly nine years into an economic expansion that still appears to have plenty of momentum. The share of people who left jobs on their own, known as the quits rate, was unchanged at 2.5% among private-sector employees. While that number has barely budged in the past year, it’s at a post-recession high, evidence that more workers feel secure enough to leave one job for another. Typically, workers who move end up getting better pay.