Economic Snapshot: Job openings increase to record high

The number of job openings increased to 5.9 million on the last business day in July and the job openings rate was 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job openings are up 1 percent year over year and are now above the previous record high set in April 2016.

Hires were little changed at 5.2 million and the hires rate was 3.6 percent. Separations were also little changed at 4.9 million in July.

Among separations, the number of quits was essentially unchanged in July at 3.0 million and the quits rate was 2.1 percent. Quits are now up 9 percent year over year.

Employment situation

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent for the third consecutive month.

The number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million in August. The number of long-term unemployed was essentially unchanged at 2.0 million in August and accounted for 26.1 percent of the unemployed.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons was little changed at 6.1 million in August.

In August, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the same as the previous year. Among the marginally attached, there were 576,000 discouraged workers in August, little changed from August 2015.

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