New data released by the Department of Labor show even more signs of a labor market that is truly on the road to recovery, with the figures showing employers fired the fewest workers ever recorded that month, and that the number of job openings swelled to impressive levels.
The report noted that 1.51 million people were fired in January, lower than the 1.57 million people who were let go in December and the fewest people who were fired in the 12 years the department has been keeping track of such data. The number of open positions rose by 81,000 to 3.69 million, jumping back with force from a drop of 177,000 open positions in December.
Rising payrolls have been attributed to this drop in firing, as opposed to more hiring, and also suggest companies believe they are in a safe enough place to maintain current staffing levels. Now, the stage has been set for more jobs to be created, which would significantly lower the unemployment rate.
According to Bloomberg, this confidence is rising even amid uncertainty surrounding the federal budget and other matters in Washington.
"The fact that the firings are abating shows just how tight the labor-force components are for business," said Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. "Businesses are becoming increasingly confident in the economic outlook."
The media outlet reports that the momentum that grew in January most likely rolled over into February, as early indications show the number of people who filed for jobless benefits dropped to its lowest level in six weeks in the week that ended March 2nd. When analysts looked at the four-week average, which is a much more accurate depiction of the jobs market, 348,800 claims have been filed a week - the lowest number in five years.