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Job openings edge up in January

March 15, 2019

The number of US job openings edged up in January from December, according to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of hires and separations were also little changed.

Job openings rose by 102,000 in January to almost 7.6 million, up 1.4% from December; however, openings increased 15.0% on a year-over-year basis.

Job openings in the first month of the year increased in a number of industries, led by increases of 91,000 in wholesale trade; 60,000 in real estate and rental and leasing; and 42,000 in information. On the flip side, the number of job openings decreased by 98,000 in “other services”; 97,000 in retail trade; and 40,000 in arts, entertainment, and recreation.

The job openings rate — a measure of job openings compared with total employment — was 4.8%, up from 4.3% in January 2018.

The rising number of job openings add to evidence that employers are having difficulties in finding suitable workers, Bloomberg reported. The February payrolls figures pointed to the likelihood of a moderation in job gains this year as economic growth slows amid an uptick in wage gains.

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