WASHINGTON (8/13/14)--Job openings in June climbed to their highest rate since before the recession, rising to 3.3% and pushing the total number of job openings in the United States up to 4.67 million, with nearly 100,000 jobs opening up from May, according to numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor (Economy.com Aug. 12).
The increase continues the trend seen since the beginning of the year, as job openings have expanded by 800,000 so far in 2014.
Openings also have swelled by 18% since June of last year, with an 18% surge in private-sector openings. Meanwhile, the number of job seekers per opening dropped to 2-to-1 from 2.1-to-1 (MarketWatch Aug. 12).
"The job market continued its slow improvement in June and net job gains from the (survey) show a similar sized gain, as did the nonfarm payroll survey," said Marisa Di Natale, Moody's analyst (Economy.com). "Job openings have increased significantly over the past six months, though hiring has increased at about one-third of that pace."
The hiring rate increased 3.5% in June, back to the level it had achieved in April, according to the government, with overall hires rising to 4.8 million through the month.
While job openings have regained pre-recession levels, hires only have risen by about 250,000 since the beginning of 2014 and fall well short of their pre-crash numbers.
The number of people who quit their jobs has climbed in the past three months as well, but the "quit rate," which can illustrate worker confidence in the job market, has remained relatively flat since the beginning of the year.