Make us your home page
Instagram

Job openings rise and dip by U.S. economic sector

In March, job seekers wait in line to attend a career fair in San Jose, Calif. The Labor Department said on Tuesday that openings rose in several sectors of the economy in February, including retail, manufacturing, restaurants and hotels, and transportation.

Associated Press

In March, job seekers wait in line to attend a career fair in San Jose, Calif. The Labor Department said on Tuesday that openings rose in several sectors of the economy in February, including retail, manufacturing, restaurants and hotels, and transportation.

WASHINGTON — Job openings rose in several sectors of the U.S. economy in February, including retail, manufacturing, transportation, restaurants and hotels, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Total job openings, meanwhile, declined in February, the department said. That's a sign that hiring remains sluggish, even though employers are starting to add workers as they gain more confidence that the recovery is taking hold.

The government's job openings and labor turnover survey illustrates the churn that takes place in the job market, even when hiring is weak. Employers posted 2.7 million job openings at the end of February. That was about 130,000 fewer than in the previous month. But it still exceeded the record lows of 2.4 million last year.

"Generally, you're moving in the right direction on job openings," said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase. But "as today's numbers remind us, it's not a straight line up."

Retailers listed 320,000 openings, up from 255,000 the previous month, the department said. Manufacturers posted 17,000 more openings. Restaurants and hotels have added nearly 50,000 in the past two months.

The economy created 162,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said last week. Yet the unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.7 percent as the number of people looking for work rose.

Other surveys also point to job gains. The Conference Board said last week that online job postings have risen by about 650,000 in the past five months to more than 3.9 million.

In another positive sign, a retail hiring index compiled by Kronos Inc. showed that retailers boosted hiring by 9 percent in March to the highest level since the fall of 2008. Kronos provides scheduling, payroll and other work force management software and services. The company's index covers 68 companies with 27,000 retail locations.

Transportation, warehousing and utilities companies are also adding jobs, the Labor Department said. That sector posted 64,000 job openings in February, about two-thirds higher than a year ago. Figures for that sector aren't seasonally adjusted.

On Friday, the department said transportation and warehousing gained 7,800 jobs in March. That was the most since September 2007, before the recession began.

Still, about 14.8 million people were jobless in February. That's nearly double the total from before the recession began in December 2007. It means about 5.5 people, on average, are competing for each available job. That's higher than in January, but down from the record 6.2 reached in November. Only 1.8 people, on average, were competing for each opening in December 2007.

Fast facts

Number of openings

Employers posted

2.7 million job openings

at the end of February.

That was about 130,000 fewer than in the previous month.

But it still exceeded the record lows of 2.4 million last year.

Retailers listed 320,000 openings, up from 255,000 the previous month, the Labor Department said. Manufacturers posted 17,000 more openings. Restaurants and hotels have added nearly 50,000

in the past two months.

Online job postings have risen by about 650,000

in the past five months to more than 3.9 million, the Conference Board said last week.

Job openings rise and dip by U.S. economic sector 04/06/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 7:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Do you want Walmart in your home when you're not?

    Retail

    Delivery workers who drop off Walmart groceries may soon also bring them into your kitchen and unload them into your refrigerator, even if you're not home.

    Delivery workers who drop off Walmart groceries may soon also bring them into your kitchen and unload them into your refrigerator, even if you're not home.
[ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times file photo]

  2. Trumps travel ban to be replaced by restrictions tailored to certain countries

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, the New York Times reports, citing officials familiar with the plans.

    President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries is set to be replaced as soon as this weekend with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country, officials familiar with the plans said Friday. The new restrictions, aimed at preventing security threats from entering the United States, could go into effect Sunday after the conclusion of a 90-day policy review undertaken as part of the administration's original travel ban. Though the restrictions would differ for each country, people living in the targeted nations could be prevented from traveling to the United States or could face increased scrutiny as they seek to obtain a visa. [Associated Press]
  3. In dollars: How valuable are Florida's university football programs?

    Business

    The University of Florida football program is valued in a new study at $682 million, making it the most valuable university team in the state but still worth far less than several college programs topping $1 billion. Four years ago, UF's program was valued at just under $600 million.

    The University of Florida football program is valued at  $682 million, making it the most valuable by far in the Sunshine State. Pictured are UF cheerleaders leading the crowd in a Gator cheer on Clearwater Beach last December during the Outback Bowl Beach Day on Clearwater Beach. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.