The data on Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) lags the national employment report by one month but confirms the robust health of the labor market in January.
The report said the number of job openings was 7.581 million in January, up 102,000 from the prior month and close to the series high of 7.626 million in November 2018. The rate matched the series high of 4.8%.
The number of hires was 5.801 million, up 84,000 from December and only slightly below the series high of 5.877 million in October 2018. The hire rate was 3.9%, holding on series high and little different any reading in the past year.
Separations was up 81,000 to 5.550 million in January, a trend-like reading that suggested no more than the usual month-to-month fluctuations in the pace of layoffs. The separations rate was also on trend at 3.7%.
Net turnover – hires less separations – remained on trend at up 251,000 in January. New hires continue to outpace workers separated from their jobs.
The number of voluntary job leavers rose to 3.490 million in February, a new series high. The quits rate was unchanged at 2.3% where it has stayed for the past eight months at its highest level.
The Beveridge Curve – comparing the rate of job openings to the unemployment rate – continues to show the labor market at exceptionally tight levels through January.
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