Market Overview

Job Openings Hit Record High In December

Job Openings Hit Record High In December

The labor market remained strong as 2018 ended, with job openings reaching a high of 7.3 million on the last business day of December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday. The 7.3 million openings was up from 5.7 million at the end of 2017.

This set of data dates back to the year 2000.

The number of openings in the private sector edged up, while government sector job openings were unchanged. Job openings increased most in construction and hotel and food services. There were also more job openings in health care and social assistances.

Openings declined in nondurable goods manufacturing, federal government and real estate.

The government also said the number of hires was 5.9 million in December, little changed from the previous month. Hires increased in retail, education and mining and logging.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) produces monthly estimates of job openings, hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. JOLTS data help measure the demand for labor and track the health of the economy.

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