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U.S. job openings unexpectedly increase as hires climb to record

Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 7, 2020
U.S. job openings unexpectedly increased in May as state economies stirred to life and businesses looked to hire anew.
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The number of available positions rose to 5.4 million during the month from 5 million in April, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, released Tuesday.

Topics: U.S.

Separations, which include layoffs and quits, plummeted by 5.83 million in May. The rate of layoffs and discharges dropped to 1.4 per cent from 5.9 per cent in April and closer to the pre-pandemic rate of 1.2 per cent.

In a jobs market where millions are still out of work, the quits rate, which measures voluntary job leavers as a share of total employment, advanced to 1.6 per cent from a nine-year low of 1.4 per cent.

The JOLTS report illustrates the dichotomy of a jobs market defined by churn. Employers, on net, are adding workers to payrolls, as evidenced by two straight record monthly increases in May and June, according to the agency’s monthly jobs data.