U.S. businesses posted a near-record level of open jobs in January, a trend that has pushed up worker's pay and added to inflationary pressures in the U.S.
Employers posted 11.3 million jobs at the end of January, down slightly from a record of 11.4 million in December, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
The number of people quitting their jobs slipped but also remained far above pre-pandemic levels as more Americans take advantage of numerous opportunities to switch jobs, often for higher pay. The vast majority of those quitting do so to take another position.
The figures are for January and as a result do not reflect any potential impact from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, though few economists anticipate the war will reduce hiring soon.
Average hourly pay increased 5.1% in February compared with a year earlier, according to U.S. statistics released last week, a rapid gain that forces companies to either become more efficient or raise prices to offset their higher labor costs. In some industries such as restaurants, large pay gains for workers have driven prices higher.
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