WASHINGTON (AP) – US employers posted nearly 7.6 million job vacancies in January, a record high in November, evidence that companies are still thirsty for workers despite signs of slowing the economy.
The Labor Department said Friday that hiring had also increased and the number of people leaving their jobs had increased. Resignations are a sign of a healthy economy, as people leave one job for another, usually better paid.
The number of jobs available now exceeds by about 1 million the number of unemployed. The openings began to exceed the unemployed last spring. For the first time in 18 years, the data was tracked.
"The question is whether workers will be more and more tempted to change jobs or whether their current employers will increase their wages to keep them." Said Nick Bunker, Economist on the website of the job offers. 39; employment.
The strength of the labor market is already driving wages up faster, with hourly wages rising in February at the fastest pace of the past nine years.
The report, known as JOLTS (Survey of Job Openings and Labor Turnover Rate), also showed that layoffs had decreased, a reassuring sign that employers were not afraid of the closure of the labor market. government, which ended on January 25, or the sharp fall in markets in December.
Nearly 3.5 million people left their jobs in January, up 2.9% from the previous month. This could force employers to pay more to prevent their workers from resigning.
"The high attrition rate is the main source of upward pressure on wages, as high turnover costs are a strong incentive for employers to raise wages to retain their best talent," said Julia Pollak, labor economist at ZipRecruiter. .
The economy posted healthy growth of 2.9% last year, its fastest pace in four years. But trade tensions with China, slowing global growth and consumer cues have weighed on the economy earlier this year. Many economists predict that growth could fall below 1% in the first quarter.
The JOLTS report suggests that the labor market remains strong and reinforces the expectations of most analysts that maintaining hirings and higher wages will lead to faster growth later this year.
Openings decreased slightly to 7.58 million since the record 7.63 million recorded in November. Data was heavily revised this month to show that there were more jobs open at the end of last year. Before the revisions, the record was 7.3 million openings in January.