Job openings surge to highest level since 2001

Job openings surged to more than 5 million in December, according to the latest job openings and labour turnover survey, or JOLTS report, from the BLS.

At 5.028 million, job openings were at their highest level since January 2001.

Expectations were for this report to show job openings rose modestly in December to 4.983 million from 4.972 million in November.

In December, total hires totaled 5.15 million while separations came in at 4.89 million.

The quits rate in December was little changed from November at 1.9% and was up just slightly from 1.8% the prior year.

The number of job openings is seen a measure of labour market slack, with more job opening indicating the balance of power in the labour market shifting towards workers looking for jobs and away from employers looking to higher.

Another element of the JOLTS report is the number of quits, which can be seen as a measure of worker confidence, as workers are less likely to quit their jobs if they’re confident they can find another one.

More to come …

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