U.S. Economy

     (CN) – U.S. job openings rose to eight-month high in March, while wholesale inventories rose, the government said Tuesday.
     The Bureau of Labor Statistics said there were 5.8 million job openings in the U.S. on the last business day in March.
     Hires edged down over the month to 5.3 million and separations were little changed at 5.0 million.
     The rate at which people quit their jobs in March was 2.1 percent, and the layoffs and discharges rate was 1.2 percent.
     Job openings increased in professional and business services (+124,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+35,000), and nondurable goods manufacturing (+29,000). Job openings decreased in retail trade (-80,000), educational services (-36,000), and wholesale trade (-35,000).
     The bureau also reported Tuesday that the unemployment rate held at 5.0 percent in April, and that the number of unemployed people was little changed at 7.9 million.
     During the month, 2.5 million people were unemployed for less than five weeks, accounting for 31.6 percent of all unemployed people.
     The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 150,000 to 2.1 million in April. These individuals accounted for 25.7 percent of the unemployed. On average, unemployed people were jobless for 27.7 weeks in April 2016.
     In other news, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday that U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles and reported higher sales in March the first time sales jumped since September.
     Inventories held by wholesalers rose 0.1 in March from February. And sales rose 0.7 percent, the biggest monthly increase since April 2015.

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