PhotoThere weren't as many job openings available in February as there were the month before.

The Department of Labor (DOL) reports openings slipped by 100,000 during the month to 5.4 million, while hires jumped to 5.4 million from 5.0 million in January.

Job openings

The job openings rate held steady at 3.7%, but the number of openings was little changed for total private and for government. Openings increased in educational services and federal government, but fell in health care and social assistance, finance, and insurance. The number of job openings edged lower in the Midwest.


The number of hires increased to 5.4 million -- the highest level since November 2006 -- with the rate rising .3% to 3.8%. Hires rose for total private and was little changed for government, with increases in retail trade, accommodation and food services, educational services, and state and local government, excluding education. Declines were posted in mining and logging. Regionally, hires were on the rise in the South.


Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations, with total separations referred to as turnover.

The total separations rate rose 0.1% in February to 3.5%, but the number of total separations was little changed for total private and for government. Total separations rose in accommodation and food services, but fell in arts, entertainment, and recreation. The number of total separations was little changed over the month in all regions.

Net change in employment

Total hires over the 12 months ending in February totaled 62.1 million and separations totaled 59.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.7 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

The complete report is available on the DOL website.

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