U.S. job openings rose in August to a fresh record and the share of workers quitting their jobs held at the highest since 2001, underscoring signs of strength in the labor market that should help propel wages higher, Labor Department data showed Tuesday.

Job postings exceeded the number of unemployed people by 902,000 in August, the most in data back to 2000. That’s a positive sign for wages, which have been picking up at a very gradual pace in this expansion, even as employers say they struggle to find skilled workers. The quits rate indicates that Americans are confident in leaving their jobs for better pay or benefits elsewhere.

Although it lags the Labor Department’s other jobs data by a month, the JOLTS report adds context to monthly employment figures by measuring dynamics such as resignations, help-wanted ads and the pace of hiring.

Other Details

  • Layoffs increased to one-year high of 1.8m from 1.62m; layoffs rate rose to 1.2 percent
  • There was 0.9 unemployed person per job opening, compared with 1.9 people when the recession began at the end of 2007
  • Openings increased in sectors including construction, finance and insurance, professional and business services; decreased in state and local government as well as trade, transportation and utilities
  • In the 12 months through August, the economy created a net 2.4 million jobs, representing 67 million hires and 64.7 million separations

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: