5 Things to Know About Hiring Right Now

Details of the Labor Department's hiring and job openings data.

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The Labor Department released its report on May's hiring, firing and job openings today. If you'll recall, May's job numbers were a burst of good news when reported last month--as employers had cut their rate of job shedding in half for the month.

The number of people hired in May held pretty steady at 4 million. The hires rate--total hires as a percent of total employment--dropped significantly in retail, however.

The job openings rate--a measure of the number of job openings on the final business day of the month as a portion of the total employment plus openings--jumped for the retail industry in May. The job openings rate fell significantly in accomodation and food services, and state and local government.

Between May 2007 and May 2008, the job openings rate has dropped significantly for nearly all industries save for the federal government, which hired many temporary Census 2010 workers.

Over the past year, new hires as a percentage of total employment have fallen significantly in every region but the Northeast.

No surprise here: the quits rate--the number of workers voluntarily leaving jobs as a percentage of total employment--continues to rest at its lowest point in the eight-year history of the series. The number of quits has fallen 34 percent since May 2008.

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