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U.S. job openings reach 5-year high

8:53 PM, Dec. 10, 2013  |  Comments
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U.S. employers advertised the most job openings in more than five years in October, and the number of people quitting also reached a five-year high.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings rose 1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.93 million. That is the highest figure since May 2008, three months after the Great Recession began.

And the number of workers who quit rose 2.5 percent to 2.39 million, the most since October 2008. More workers quitting can signal a healthy job market, because most of those people likely either have a new job or are confident they can find one.

Total hiring, though, slipped 2.6 percent to 4.5 million after reaching a five-year high in September. Still, overall hiring has risen 5.2 percent in the past year.

More hiring, job openings and quits point to a more dynamic job market. That trend creates more opportunities for people out of work or looking for a new job.

Another positive sign in the report: Layoffs plunged 16 percent to 1.47 million, the lowest level on records dating to 2001. Still, while fewer layoffs are welcome, businesses need to step up hiring to more quickly reduce the still-high unemployment rate of 7 percent.

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