As hiring climbs, job openings narrow in March

May 13, 2015

WASHINGTON (5/13/15)--The number of job openings nationwide fell in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly job openings and labor turnover survey (JOLTS). Hiring, on the other hand, climbed during the month.

Job openings fell to 4.99 million from 5.14 million in February, with the majority of the decline driven by public sector openings. Still, job openings remain 19% higher on a year-over-year basis in March.

“The slightly weaker March JOLTS data reflect the recent weakening in employment conditions precipitated by the travails of energy and export-dependent industries,” said Sophia Koropeckyj, Moody’s analyst ( May 12). “These pressures on the labor market are expected to dissipate as oil prices rebound and the dollar weakens.”

On the flip side, hiring rebounded in the final month of the first quarter, ticking up to 5.067 million from 5.011 million the prior month. Private sector hiring climbed to 4.736 million from 4.7 million in February.

March also saw the highest number of employees quit their jobs in seven years, a trend analysts say signals a healthier labor market.

Roughly 2.78 million workers quit jobs during the month, or a 15% annual increase (MarketWatch May 12).

“Rising quits should support real wage growth going forward,” said economists in reaction to the report (MarketWatch).