Job Openings Up Sharply In January The Labor Department reported on Tuesday that job openings increased in January. The number of openings in January rose about 7.6 percent to 2.7 million, compared with December. It is still a tough job market, however, but with some signs of improvement.
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Job Openings Up Sharply In January

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Job Openings Up Sharply In January

Job Openings Up Sharply In January

Job Openings Up Sharply In January

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The Labor Department reported on Tuesday that job openings increased in January. The number of openings in January rose about 7.6 percent to 2.7 million, compared with December. It is still a tough job market, however, but with some signs of improvement.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

The Labor Department said yesterday that jobs are opening up at a faster rate than they have in a year. It's a sign, though a small one, that employers are starting to hire more.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

YUKI NOGUCHI: It might seem that there are no jobs available in this economy. In fact, there are millions of jobs created and destroyed every month, and at the end of January, the government said there were 2.7 million available positions.

Ms. HEIDI SHIERHOLZ (Economist, Economic Policy Institute): It looks like we have now turned the corner in job openings.

NOGUCHI: Heidi Shierholz is an economist with the Economic Policy Institute think tank. She says if you divide that number by the number of people who are unemployed, that's 5.4 out of work people for every open job. That's not near the one-to-one ratio sought in a healthy economy, Shierholz says, but it's better than the recession's peak of 6.2 people for every open position.

The Labor Department's report is consistent with the findings of Monster.com and Indeed.com. Both job sites said more employers posted jobs and showed interest in hiring in February.

Ms. SHIERHOLZ: We're nowhere near the kind of robust hiring we need to keep up with our labor market, but it's a very good sign that it's actually turned the corner now.

NOGUCHI: Whether people will get hired will depend on whether they're skills match those being sought by employers, and yesterday's report reveals nothing about that.

Yuki Noguchi, NPR News.

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