Arrow-right Camera


U.S. employers posted 3.9 million jobs in January

Wed., March 12, 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. employers advertised slightly more jobs in January than in December, a sign that hiring should remain steady in coming months.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers posted 3.9 million job openings, up 1.5 percent from December. That is still below November’s nearly six-year high of 4.1 million, the first month that openings topped 4 million since March 2008.

There are about 2.6 unemployed Americans, on average, for each open job, the report shows. That’s close to the ratio of 2 to 1 that is typical of healthier economies. The ratio of unemployed people to available jobs reached a record 6.7 in July 2009, just after the recession ended.

The job market may be emerging from a winter slump. Employers added 175,000 jobs in February, the government said last week. That was much higher than in December and January, when cold weather lowered job growth.

And a separate report by ManpowerGroup, the staffing company, found that U.S. employers are more optimistic about hiring this spring. Nineteen percent of companies surveyed said they planned to add jobs in the April-June quarter, the most since last fall.

Last week’s employment report showed 175,000 net job gains in February. That’s the number of people hired minus those who were laid off, quit or retired.

Overall hiring slipped 0.9 percent to 4.5 million in January.

That might sound like a lot, but in a healthy job market, roughly 5 million people are hired each month.

The number of people who quit their jobs fell slightly last month, the report said, while layoffs ticked up.

Quits can be a positive sign because people typically quit when they have a new job or are confident they will find one. More quits also open up more positions for job-seekers.


Click here to comment on this story »