Job openings and labor turnover only decline slightly, says Department of Labor

Job openings declined slightly in February A new report from the U.S. Department of Labor has found that job openings and labor turnover remained mostly stable in February, likely pleasing consumers who are in the process of debt consolidation and looking for brighter economic times ahead.

According to the Labor Department Job Openings and Labor Turnover report for February, which was released on Tuesday, job openings only saw a slight decline in the month as they fell to 2.72 million from 2.85 million in January. Hires also declined only minimally to 3.96 million from 4.08 million in January, as did total separations (3.95 million, down from 4.15 million in January.)

"Generally, you’re moving in the right direction on job openings," said Michael Feroli, the chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase, according to the Associated Press. "[But] as today’s numbers remind us, it’s not a straight line up."

In the last 12 months ending in February, the hire rate remained unchanged in total nonfarm and private employment while government hiring increased.

In turn, the rate of layoffs across the country declined slightly as well by 0.1 point to 1.4. The decline came as the number of layoffs hit 1.82 million in February, down from 1.95 million in January and 2.59 million in February 2009.