You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Job postings, hiring fall in March

A job fair in New York. In March, there were 3.1 unemployed people, on average, for each job opening.

Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

A job fair in New York. In March, there were 3.1 unemployed people, on average, for each job opening.

WASHINGTON — US employers posted fewer job openings in March compared with February and slowed overall hiring, underscoring a weak month of job growth.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings fell 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million jobs. Total hiring declined 4.3 percent to 4.3 million.

Continue reading below

The unemployed faced heavy competition in March. There were 3.1 unemployed people, on average, for each job opening. That’s above the ratio of 2 to 1 that is typical in a healthy economy.

On Friday, the government reported that employers added just 138,000 net jobs in March, well below February’s 332,000. Tuesday’s report shows that the slowdown occurred because gross hiring fell and layoffs increased.

Job growth picked up in April. The economy added 165,000 net jobs, and the US unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent, from 7.6 percent in March.

April’s gain, along with sharp upward revisions in the totals for February and March, suggest that the job market is improving steadily. Employers have now added an average of 208,000 jobs per month from November through April. That’s much higher than the average of 138,000 in the previous six months.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.