The number of job openings again rose to a series high of 5.8 million on the last business day of July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Professional & business services, which is considered to be a leading component for total employment, led the gains with a 122,000 increase followed by accommodation & food services at 82,000 and retail at 77,000.

The number of hires and separations edged down to 5.0 million and 4.7 million, respectively. Within separations, the quits rate was 1.9 percent for the fourth month in a row, and the layoffs and discharges rate declined to 1.1 percent.

Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee. Therefore, the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’ willingness or ability to leave jobs. … There were 2.7 million quits in July, little changed from June. Although the number of quits has been increasing overall since the end of the recession, the number has held between 2.7 million and 2.8 million for the past 11 months.