Job openings rise as expected in January

There were 5.541 million job openings in January, according to the latest Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

Economists had forecast that there were 5.5 million openings down from 5.6 million in the prior period.

The report also included annual numbers, which showed that the levels of hires and quits rose for a sixth straight year, supporting other indicators that showed labour-market resilience.

The quits rate fell to 2% from 2.1%. The number of hires decreased in January, and the rate was 3.5%. The separations rate was 3.4%, as the total number of separations also fell.

The JOLTS report is one of Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s favourite labour-market gauges. In the Fed’s latest decision Wednesday, when it kept its benchmark rate unchanged, Yellen noted that a range of economic indicators showed that the labour market continued to strengthen.

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