US job openings edge higher in January, pointing to gradual pick-up in wages
Rates for job openings and voluntary so-called 'quits' in the US were unchanged in January, pointing to a gradual acceleration in wage growth, economists said.
According to the Department of Labor, the number of job openings increased by 102,000 in January to reach 7.58m, pushing the rate of job openings from 4.7% to 4.8%.
Meanwhile, the quits rate - one of the most closely followed economic indicators by policymakers - was unchanged at a cycle high of 2.3% with the total number of voluntary separations steady at 3.5m.
"Unfortunately, we already know that employment growth slowed sharply in February, but the elevated levels of job openings and quits are at least consistent with wage growth continuing to accelerate gradually," said Michael Pearce, senior US economist at Capital Economics.
"Consumption growth is on track to slow to around 1.5% annualised in the first quarter, but with wage growth trending higher and confidence holding up, we doubt consumption growth will slow much further from there."