U.S. Job Openings Hit Highest Level Since 2001

MarketWatch Pulse

Job openings in the U.S. rose 3.7% to 5.03 million in December - the highest since 2001 - and the number of people hired climbed 1.9% to 5.05 milllion. That's also the strongest level of hiring since 2007, government data showed Tuesday. Yet so-called separations - layoffs, people fired, workers who quit - rose to 4.89 million, the highest since 2008. About one-third of the workers quit, a good sign since it means they probably found other jobs. But two-thirds were let go for other reasons. For all of 2014, some 58.3 million people were hired and 55.4 million lost or left their jobs. That's a net employment gain of 2.9 million. A separate report on employment showed a gain of 3.1 million jobs last year.

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