Job Openings in the U.S. Climb to Second-Highest in Records

  • Gains somewhat limited, concentrated in professional services
  • Quits climb in sign that workers are gaining confidence

Job openings rose more than projected in March, a sign the U.S. labor market was still strong toward the end of the first quarter.

The number of positions waiting to be filled in the U.S. increased by 149,000 to 5.76 million, the second-highest in data back to 2000, from a revised 5.61 million in February, Labor Department figures showed Tuesday. Hiring slumped and more Americans quit their jobs.

Rising job listings and subdued dismissals indicate demand for workers remained steady in March even as economic growth was starting to slow, continuing the divergence seen in the past year. The report, which includes some measures tracked by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, is in sync with the central bank’s view of continued labor-market progress.

The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey projected 5.45 million openings, little changed from the month before. Openings reached a record 5.79 million in July.

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