Job openings surge to a record 6.3 million, Labor Department says

Job openings in the U.S. surged to a record 6.3 million, according to the most recent count from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of new positions surged by 645,000 as of the end of January, a new high for the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The metric gets close attention from Federal Reserve policymakers when gauging the economy and the appropriate monetary policy response.

The report suggests slack remains in the labor market, as employers continue to hire and the pool of available jobs grows.

. . . The key “quits” rate, which mostly measures the amount of workers who left jobs voluntarily, edged lower to 3.27 million, from 3.34 million in December. Professional and business services accounted for a good share of the decline in quits, from 747,000 to 676,000.

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