U.S. Job Openings Hit New High

The number of U.S. job openings hit a new high in April, the latest sign employers are searching widely for workers amid a long stretch of steady if somewhat slow economic growth.

The number of job openings rose by 259,000 to 6.04 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, known as Jolts, tracks the monthly pace at which people start jobs, quit jobs, or are laid off, and the number of job openings.

The report, a belated but more detailed look than the main monthly jobs report, confirms steady hiring, low levels of layoffs and a broadly tightening labor market.

The government's main employment report, out last week, showed the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 16 years in May while job creation cooled.

The monthly Jolts report showed that the openings rate matched its highest level on record at 4%.

The number of hires fell by 253,000 to 5.05 million in April, the number of layoffs inched down by 71,000 to 1.59 million, and quits slipped 111,000 to 3.03 million. Workers are more willing to quit their job when they are confident they can easily find another.

When balanced out, the labor market added a net 2.2 million jobs over the 12-month span through April.

Write to Jeffrey Sparshott at jeffrey.sparshott@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 06, 2017 11:28 ET (15:28 GMT)