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3.5 million jobs posted in February, little change from January

April 10, 2012|By Ricardo Lopez
  • Job candidates fill out forms last month for interviews at the Goodwill Southern California job fair in Bell.
Job candidates fill out forms last month for interviews at the Goodwill… (Damian Dovarganes/Associated…)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that in February employers posted 3.5 million job openings, virtually unchanged from January when employers posted 3.48 million jobs.

The report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, comes after a lackluster March jobs report.

On Friday, the Labor Department reported that employers nationwide added a modest 120,000 new positions in March, only about half the job gains in each of the previous three months.

Some of the falloff, analysts said last week, reflected the fact that payrolls had been inflated in the winter because of unusually mild weather.

Since the recession ended in June 2009, the job openings rate has been positive at 2.6%.

February's hires rate, 3.3%, and separations rate, 3.1%, were also virtually the same as January.

The separation rate includes voluntary quits, layoffs and retirements. The quitting rate often serves as a good barometer of a worker's willingness or ability to change jobs. The number of quits in February was 2.1 million, far below the 2.9 million recorded in December 2007 when the recession began.

The only industry that saw a higher hiring rate was the professional and business sector, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Nearly 4.4 million people were hired in February, the most in almost two years, according to the Associated Press.


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