Updated May 22 at 6:44am

Separations outnumber new hires in Northeast region for December

There were 685,000 job openings in the Northeast as of the last business day in December, representing 2.6 percent of total employment in the region, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday. More

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Separations outnumber new hires in Northeast region for December

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PROVIDENCE – There were 685,000 job openings in the Northeast as of the last business day in December, representing 2.6 percent of total employment in the region, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.

The December figure showed improvement over the same period a year earlier, when job openings numbered 661,000, and over the previous month, when there were 677,000 job openings.

New hires, however, fell in December to 660,000 (or 2.5 percent of total employment) compared with 687,000 in December 2012 and compared with 695,000 in November. Separations outnumbered new hires, totaling 687,000 in the Northeast region – which includes the six New England states as well as New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania – or 2.6 percent of total employment. A year earlier, that figure was 663,000 and in November it was 676,000.

Nationally, there were 4 million job openings on the last business day of December, up from 3.6 million in December 2012 and little changed from November.

The U.S. hires rate (3.2 percent) and separations rate (3.2 percent) held steady on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. There were 4.4 million hires in December and 4.4 million separations.

During the 12 months ended in December, hires totaled 53.3 million nationwide and separations totaled 51.4 million, yielding a net employment gain of 1.9 million. These figures include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year, according to the BLS report.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Northeast job openings, Rhode Island job openings,

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