There were 4.998 million job openings on the last business day of January, little changed from 4.877 million in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Hires decreased to 4.996 million in January from 5.239 million the prior month. Separations were little changed at 4.821 million versus 4.901 million in December. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.0 percent and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.2 percent.

The number of job openings was the highest level since January 2001. The job openings rate for January was 3.4 percent.

The number of job openings (yellow) are up 28% year-over-year compared to January 2014.

Quits are up 17% year-over-year. These are voluntary separations. (see light blue columns at bottom of graph for trend for “quits”).

This is another very positive report. It is a good sign that job openings are at 5 million, and that quits are increasing significantly year-over-year.