Unemployment remains the focus for the Obama administration.
According to a Labor Department report that came out on Tuesday job openings jumped 3.4 percent to 5.1 million in February. This is a 14-year high, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
These numbers come on the heels of a disappointing jobs report that came out Friday. Employers added only 126,000 jobs in March, marking a 15 month low.
The according to Jeremy Schwartz, an analyst at Credit Suisse, the surge in available jobs “is a reassuring sign that the fundamentals of the labor market have continued to improve,”
Although hiring numbers are low, the uptick in available jobs may be an indication employers will need to work harder to fill jobs. This could cause businesses to increase pay in order to attract new workers.
There are other good economic signs in the second quarter. Unemployment benefits numbers dropped last week.
There were, however negative signs in the Labor Department report. Total hiring fell 1.6 percent in February to 4.9 million. This is the second straight decline in total hiring. While layoffs dipped by 7.6 percent to 1.6 million, a 16 month low. This means 264,000 jobs gained may be a deceptive number
Most of the gains were caused by the lower number of layoffs.
Some economists believe the mediocre job numbers were created by temporary factors. The labor dispute on the West Coast with dockworkers, exports hurt by a stronger than expected dollar, and poor winter weather.