Although job openings rose in January, the hiring rate was slightly lower, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Thursday report.
There were 5.5 million job openings in January, up from 5.28 million job openings in December, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) report. Economists expected 5.5 million job openings in January, according to a Reuters survey.
The monthly report from the Labor Department is a closely followed barometer of economic conditions, and measures job postings in different sectors, and the number of hires and layoffs.
The hiring rate in January came in at 3.5 percent, a modest decline. The number of hires also decreased to 5 million. This decline was seen across several industries including health care and social assistance, professional and business services, as well as accommodation and food services.