September 11, 2018 / 2:53 PM / 9 months ago

U.S. job openings surge to record high in July

WASHINGTON, Sept 11 (Reuters) - U.S. job openings surged to a record high in July and more Americans voluntarily quit their jobs, pointing to sustained labor market strength and confidence.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased by 117,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.9 million, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS on Tuesday. That was the highest level since the series started in December 2000.

In a sign of confidence in the labor market, more Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in July, pushing the quits rate to 2.4 percent, the highest level since April 2001, from 2.3 percent in June.

The increase in job mobility could spur faster wage growth. The government last week reported a surge in annual wage growth in August. Average hourly earnings increased 2.9 percent in the 12 months through August, the largest gain since June 2009, from 2.7 percent in July. (Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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