U.S. job openings rise amid hiring in government, real estate

THE NUMBER OF U.S. positions waiting to be filled increased by 102,000 to 7.58 million in January. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/GABBY JONES
THE NUMBER OF U.S. positions waiting to be filled increased by 102,000 to 7.58 million in January. / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/GABBY JONES

NEW YORK – United States job openings rose in January as the employers in wholesale trade, real estate and government sought workers in a tight labor market.

The number of positions waiting to be filled increased by 102,000 to 7.58 million, from an upwardly revised 7.48 million in the prior month, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, released Friday. The quits rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent.

Key insights

The rising number of job openings add to evidence that employers are having difficulties in finding suitable workers. The February payrolls figures pointed to the likelihood of a moderation in job gains this year as economic growth slows amid an uptick in wage gains. The quits rate held steady as 5.55 million Americans left their jobs. Federal Reserve policy makers watch the rate for signs of upward pressure on worker pay that may feed into inflation.

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Sarah McGregor is a reporter for Bloomberg News.