March Job Openings and Quits Highest Since 2008, Manufacturing Job Openings Highest Since 2007
1. There were 3.74 million job openings on the last business day of March, up from 3.565 million in February. The number of job openings has trended upward since the end of the recession in June 2009 (see top chart above).
2. The overall number of seasonally adjusted job openings in March increased over the year by 17.2% and for total private openings by 17.3%. Openings for government jobs fell by 12.8% over the year.
3. Private job openings in March were at their highest levels in almost four years, since May 2008, and total March job openings were the highest since July 2008.
4. For manufacturing, there were 326,000 job openings in March, which was the highest level since the pre-recessionary period in the fall of 2007 (see middle chart above). The increase of 55,000 manufacturing job openings in March was the largest monthly increase in more than six years, going back to November 2005.
5. In another sign that the labor market is slowly recovering, the number of private workers voluntarily quitting their jobs has been steadily increasing (see bottom chart above). In March, more than 2 million Americans working in the private sector quit their jobs, which was the highest number of monthly quits since October 2008, more than three years ago.