US job openings soar to record high of 6.3 million

WASHINGTON | U.S. employers sharply ramped up their demand for workers in January, advertising 6.3 million jobs at the end of the month, the most on records dating back 17 years.

The Labor Department says the number of job opening soared 645,000 in January, the largest one-month increase in 2½ years. The number of people hired ticked up and fewer Americans quit in January compared with the previous month.

The huge demand for workers comes as the unemployment rate is already at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. The report shows that overall hiring increased by a much smaller amount than job openings, suggesting that employers are having difficulty finding the workers they need. That may raise pressure on companies to increase pay to attract more applicants.