U.S. Job Openings Reach Decade-High on Booming Economy

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U.S. Job Openings Reach Decade-High on Booming EconomyU.S. job openings rose to the strongest level in nearly 14 years in November 2014 as a booming economy saw an upsurge in demand for labor.

The number of available positions increased by 142,000 to 4.97 million in November, the strongest level since January 2001, reported the Labor Department on Tuesday. The tempo of hiring slowed down and fewer workers left their jobs.

Fewer dismissals and increased pace of hiring as well as an upsurge in confidence indicates the labor market is experiencing its most vibrant performance since 1999.This data, along with other measures,  is expected to assist the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other policy makers to gauge when to start hiking interest rates.

“The labor market is in fine shape,” Brian Jones, a New York-based senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale, told Bloomberg News. “There is an increase in openings. Confidence is rising as reflected in consumer surveys.”

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected available vacancies in November to stand at 4.85 million, compared with the reported 4.83 million in October. The survey, which is known as Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), tracks factors such as help-wanted advertisements, hiring tempo as well as resignations in order to determine the health and general direction of the U.S. labor market.

U.S. payrolls increased by 252,000 employees in December, down from an increase of 353,000 in November, according to figures released by the Labor Department on Jan. 9.  The unemployment rate plunged to 5.6 percent, matching a low last touched in June 2008. An estimated 3 million additional Americans were employed last year, the highest figure in 15 years. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com