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Job openings stay steady in March, Labor Department says

  • Monthly jobs openings — a gauge of the U.S. economy that's closely watched by Fed Chair Janet Yellen — were little changed in March from February.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Tuesday the number of job openings was at 5.7 million for the month.
  • Job openings fell in mining and logging, the latest data show.
Workers make brackets for Chevrolet Express Vans at VIA Motors in Orem, Utah.
George Frey | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Workers make brackets for Chevrolet Express Vans at VIA Motors in Orem, Utah.

Monthly jobs openings — a gauge of the U.S. economy that's closely watched by Fed Chair Janet Yellen — were little changed in March from February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Tuesday.

The number of openings was at 5.7 million on the last business day of the month, the monthly report from the Labor Department said.

U.S. job openings had previously risen to a seven-month high in February — as the pace of hiring slipped — increasing 118,000 spots to a seasonally adjusted 5.7 million, the agency last reported.

For the month of March, the Labor Department reported hires and separations were also little changed at 5.3 million and 5.1 million, respectively.

Job openings grew in March across professional and business services, and state and local government education, while they fell in mining and logging, the latest data show.

One noticeable increase in hires for the month was in health care and social assistance, the Labor Department said.

Tuesday's data come from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTs. The report from the Labor Department is a key barometer of economic conditions, measuring job postings in different sectors, and the number of hires and layoffs.