The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturing job openings ticked higher, up from 342,000 in December to 364,000 in January, its highest level since July’s 15-year high (394,000). Job postings rose for both durable (up from 194,000 to 207,000) and nondurable (up from 148,000 to 157,000) goods firms. This report is encouraging from an openings standpoint, as elevated levels of postings should lead to better hiring numbers down the line.
For now, however, net hiring has remained weak. Total hiring edged up from 293,000 to 294,000 for the month, its fastest pace since October 2008. An increase in hiring for nondurable goods firms (up from 122,000 to 126,000) was just enough to offset fewer hires for durable goods manufacturers (down from 171,000 to 168,000). At the same time, total separations – which include quits, layoffs and retirements – increased from 287,000 to 301,000, an 11-month high. Separations were higher for both durable (up from 163,000 to 168,000) and nondurable (up from 124,000 to 132,000) goods businesses. Read More