Both hiring and quitting edged up in January, which can be taken as signs of optimism among both employers and workers. The rate of hiring rose to 3.7 percent in January from 3.6 percent in December, , according to new figures from the Labor Department.
The rate of quitting, which tends to rise when people are more confident about their prospects elsewhere, rose to 2.2 percent in January from 2.1 percent the prior month. January’s quits rate matches the recent peak set in December 2015.
The openings rate, defined as job openings as a share of total employment and available jobs, held at 3.7 percent last month. It has maintained roughly that rate since August 2016. The trend in openings since the summer could suggest there is less potential for hiring to accelerate, as employers added to jobs at the best the rate in 15 years during 2014 and 2015.