January Hiring Fell, But No Reason to Worry

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly report on job openings and labor turnover, and the statistics were less than impressing.  The number of hires fell by nearly 200,000 in January to 3,712,000, compared to 3,905,000 in December.  Meanwhile, the number of job openings at the end of the month also declined, dropping from 2,921,000 in December to 2,760 in January.  However, the dips in hiring and job openings should not be cause for alarm, according to employment authority John A. Challenger.  An examination of hiring and opening trends over time show significant month-to-month volatility even in the best economy.  For example, in 2006 the hiring level fell by 90,000 in January, increased by 326,000 in February and then dropped again in March, this time by 115,000.  In general, the number of new-hires-per-month has been trending upward since hitting a recession-low of 3,571,000 in October 2009.  Which industries are expected to see the strongest hiring in the coming months?  What can job seekers do to increase the odds of being among the more than 3 million workers hired each month?

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