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Job openings in February decrease to lowest level in almost a year

April 09, 2019

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

Job openings fell by 538,000 in February to fewer than 7.1 million, down 7.1% from February; however, openings increased 8.5% on a year-over-year basis.

Job openings in February decreased in a number of industries, led by decreases of 103,000 in accommodation and food services; 72,000 in real estate and rental and leasing; and 66,000 in transportation, warehousing, and utilities.

The job openings rate — a measure of job openings compared with total employment — was 4.5%, down from 4.8% in January but up from 4.2% in February 2018.

The number of job openings nationwide fell in February to the lowest level since March 2018, MarketWatch reported, punctuating a sharp slowdown in hiring that stoked worries about the labor market until a rebound in job creation a month later. “The drop in job openings in February is definitely something to keep an eye on, but it shouldn’t cause any panic yet,” said Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed Hiring Lab who closely tracks job openings.

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