US job openings rise to three-month high

US job openings rise to three-month high
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U.S. job openings saw a modest increase in October, according to a Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Wednesday.

The number of job openings rose to 6.7 million from 6.4 million in September, according to JOLTS. However, the number of hires did not rise in that same time frame and in fact fell slightly from 5.9 million to 5.8 million, with the hiring rate remaining at 4.1 percent for each month.

Though the increase in available jobs is small, Bloomberg noted this is the highest number of job openings that has been observed in the last three months of JOLTS.

The October summary found that the number of job openings increased in health care and social assistance and state and local government education, by about 122,000 and 23,000, respectively.

The total number of job separations — employees leaving their jobs due to layoffs, firings and quitting — increased from 4.7 million to 5.1 million between September and October, the survey found. While the number of resignations remained the same, the number and rate of layoffs and discharges increased by 1.7 million and 1.2 percent, respectively.

The summary notes the food, service, retail and finance industries have been hit particularly hard by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with only the nondurable goods and durable goods manufacturing industries seeing an increase in job openings.

Southwest Airlines, one of the most profitable U.S. airlines, announced potential layoffs for 6,800 employees next year, which would be the first layoff for the company in 50 years.

Many industries are waiting on another COVID-19 relief bill to pass, with hundreds of public and private sector groups launching campaigns calling for federal action.

Recent reports have indicated that lawmakers on Capitol Hill may be coming to an agreement, with a bipartisan group unveiling a $908 billion relief bill last week. Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE presented a separate $916 billion proposal to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack GOP increasingly balks at calling Jan. 6 an insurrection MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar MORE (D-N.Y.) have appeared to be receptive to both proposals, though they have argued not enough was set aside for areas of priority to Democrats, namely to state and local governments and employment insurance.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Graham calls voting rights bill 'biggest power grab' in history The wild card that might save Democrats in the midterms MORE (R-Ky.) has stated that any relief that is passed this year will likely be tied to an end-of-year omnibus bill. He and Pelosi have both stated that they would like to see a relief bill passed before Christmas.