On Tuesday, the Labor Department said that job openings in February rose to 118,000 to a seasonally adjusted 5.7 million, which reached the highest level in 7 since July 2016. According to the Labor Department, after the job openings rate held steady at 3.7% for four straight months, it rose to 3.8%.
However, the hiring dropped to 5.3 million from 5.4 million in January, and the hiring rate decreased from 3.7% in January to 3.6%. In addition, the number of people leaving jobs voluntarily dropped 3.2% to 3.08 million, which indicates that workers have less confidence.
More open positions are posted in February, while the number of people hired and quitting jobs both decrease, which shows a trend that a growing skills mismatch and a tightening of labor market. However, the overall figures show that the job market remains healthy.
“Two percent growth, which isn't as stunning in absolute terms, has generated a lot of jobs,” Yellen said on Monday. “The fact that we've got a lot of jobs is a good thing — we wanted that. But the fact that you could create that many jobs in the context of growth that is so low points to a significant problem, and the problem is productivity growth is very low.”