(CN) – American businesses posted nearly 7.6 million job openings in January and there are now about 1 million more available positions than unemployed people.
The Labor Deportment’s report Friday of 7.58 million open jobs is near the record high of 7.63 million in November. Analysts had expected about 7.3 million available jobs in January, which is about how many were reported in December.
The number of new hires and people quitting their job both increased slightly as well. While worker departures can be a headache for employers, economists see them as a positive sign because most people who quit do so for higher-paying positions.
Openings have outpaced the number of unemployed Americans for almost a year, a trend that began last March for the first time in nearly two decades. With 6.5 million unemployed as of January, there are now roughly 1 million more available positions than jobless people.
The surge in job openings shows that employers are still seeking to fill positions despite concerns about a slowing economy.
There were 59,000 more government jobs posted in January, and gains of 91,000 in wholesale trade, 60,000 in real estate and leasing, and 42,000 in the information sector.