Job openings hit a record in July, closing in on 7 million amid a jump in vacancies for finance and manufacturing, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.
Vacancies outnumbered those classified as unemployed by 659,000 for the month, an unprecedented trend that began earlier this year. Openings rose by 117,000 from June, to 6.94 million, and are up 737,000 over the past year, a nearly 12 percent increase, the department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
The "quits" rate, an indicator of worker confidence as it measures those who left their positions voluntarily, also hit a record of 3.6 million, a gain of 106,000, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics records that go back to December 2000. The quits rate of 2.4 percent is the highest recorded since April 2001 and was up one-tenth of a percentage point from a month ago.
Accommodation and food services was the biggest sector for quits at 61,000.
Professions registering the biggest gains in job openings were finance and insurance at 46,000 and nondurable goods manufacturing, with 32,000. Openings decreased in retail (-85,000), educational services (-34,000) and federal government (-19,000).