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Job openings rise to record high in December

February 12, 2019

The number of US job openings rose to a series high in December from November, according to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hires and separations were little changed.

There were 7.3 million job openings in December, up 2.4% from November; however, openings increased 29.4% on a year-over-year basis.

Job openings in December increased in a number of industries, led by increases of 88,000 in construction; 84,000 in accommodation and food services; and 79,000 in healthcare and social assistance. On the flip side, the number of job openings decreased by 37,000 in nondurable goods manufacturing, 32,000 in federal government; and 31,000 in real estate rental and leasing.

The job openings rate — a measure of job openings compared with total employment — was 4.7%, up from 3.7% in December 2017.

MarketWatch reported the number of job openings in the US surged at the end of 2018 to the highest level since the government began keeping track in 2000, reflecting the resilience of an economy that keeps growing despite rising headwinds at home and abroad. Openings exceeded the 6.5 million Americans who were officially classified as unemployed during the month.

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