Job openings increase slightly in March

Markets Associated Press

FILE - In this Wednesday, May 18, 2016, file photo, a woman passes a "We're Hiring!" sign while entering a clothing store in the Downtown Crossing of Boston. On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, the Labor Department reports on job openings and labor turnover for ... March. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File) (The Associated Press)

U.S. employers advertised slightly more job openings in March, but the number of people being hired barely budged. The figures point to a steady job market but not an economy that has kicked into higher gear despite rising business sentiment at the start of the year.

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The Labor Department says job openings rose 1.1 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted 5.7 million. Hiring in March edged up a mere 0.2 percent and is still running below the levels seen in January and December.

But more Americans felt confident enough in March to quit their jobs, as the number of quits rose 2.6 percent to 3.1 million. Workers typically quit either when they have another job or are optimistic they can find one — and possibly receive a pay raise.