Industry Headlines

Job Openings Rise in Several Sectors in February

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

The report is consistent with other surveys showing hiring is picking up in those areas. It also echoes recent national employment reports, which showed broad job gains in March.

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.

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.

Automaker BMW Manufacturing Co., meanwhile, said  that it plans to hire about 200 temporary production and logistics workers at its Greer, S.C., plant. The plant makes BMW's X5 and X6 models and will begin production of the X3 later this year.

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.

The Labor Department's report also showed that layoffs declined sharply in February. They fell to 1.8 million from 1.95 million in January. Layoffs have fallen back to pre-recession levels, but job openings are recovering more slowly. Job openings remain about 40% below their pre-recession levels of about 4.5 million.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Quality Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Podcasts

Karen Spencer, Clinkenbeard's quality manager, discusses what makes the plant stand out, advice for other plants, and looks to the future.
More Podcasts

Quality Magazine

CoverImage

2015 March

The March 2015 edition of Quality Magazine includes this years Quality's 2015 Plant of the Year.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Topics to Talk About

What topics would you like to see Quality cover more?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

qcast_ClearSeas_logo.gifWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook2015_40 twitter_40px.png  youtube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png  GooglePlus_40

eNewsletters