Job openings in US reach a 14-year high

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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A JOBS market indicator watched closely by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen – the Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (Jolts) – showed a healthy pick up in vacancies in February.

There were 5.13m job openings – a 14-year high – figures released yesterday by the US Labor Department revealed. Hiring was steady at 4.9m.

The quits rate – which Yellen has said is a key gauge of worker confidence – was 1.9 per cent, a slight drop from January’s two per cent. The quits rate looks at the number of workers who have left their jobs voluntarily, often because a better opportunity has arisen. Despite having risen steadily since 2010, it remains below pre-crisis levels in excess of two per cent.

“These upbeat Jolts figures combined with more timely data on jobless claims and employment from a number of business surveys suggest that the labour market should be holding up better than implied by the disappointing March payroll report,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JP Morgan. Payroll figures released last Friday showed that fewer people had got jobs that month than expected.