Monthly jobs openings — a gauge of the U.S. economy that’s closely watched by Fed chair Janet Yellen — were little changed in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Thursday.
Monthly job openings were at 5.6 million on the last business day in January, the Labor Department said, up slightly from the 5.5 million openings in the previous month.
Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.4 million and 5.3 million, respectively.
The quits rate was little changed at 2 .2 percent as well as the layoffs and discharges rate at 1.1 percent.
More than 3.2 million people quit their jobs in January, the most in nearly 16 years. That is a sign of confidence in the job market, since workers typically quit either when they have another job, or do not but are optimistic they can find one.
More quitting also boosts wages, because most people quit for a new job at higher pay. It also indicates that employers may be recruiting workers from other jobs by offering bigger paychecks.
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