JOBS ON THE UPSWING

According to the Labor Department, the U.S. job market is strengthening. Job openings rose 2.2 percent in January from December to 3.69 million , and employers laid off fewer workers in January than in any month since records began in 2001. In another hopeful sign, Americans quitting their jobs rose to the highest level in more then four years - suggesting that it is easier than ever to find work, as people most often quit when they have more work lined up.

February hiring was robust in spite of the impending sequester; employers added 236,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell from 7.9 to 7.7 percent, a four-year low.Competition for open positions remains strong; on average, 3.3 people were competing for each job, down from a peak of double that in July of 2009. The largest increase in work was in professional and business services such as accounting, engineering, and architecture; this was followed closely by temp jobs and retail.

As the economy recovers, this presents great news for job seekers. Open position numbers are nearly back to pre-recession heights, making it a better time than ever to search for a new job. Whether you're unemployed and looking for work, or employed and ready for a change, the upswing in the economy is a sign of good things to come.

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