There were 4.4 million job openings in the United States at the end of January, and the job-openings rate was 3.1 percent, according to the Labor Department.
Information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the job-openings rate rose in construction but fell in manufacturing, retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and accommodations and food services. Government employment stayed flat.
The industries with the highest job openings rate in January 2007 were professional and business services, with a 4.1 percent increase, and leisure and hospitality and education and health services, with each gaining 3.9 percent.
Despite little month-to-month change in the hiring and separations rates, there continues to be considerable unrest in the labor market with large numbers of hiring and separations every month.
The annual hiring rate rose slightly in 2006 while the turnover, or separations, rate held steady.