Mar 19, 2016 01:28 AM EDT

US Job Market Falters In January But Likely To Be Temporary Only

The job market in the United States faltered slightly in January, but Thursday's data indicates that the slump could just be temporary.

Overall hiring on that month dropped sharply, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, but the number of workers quitting their jobs also fell.

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey said that businesses have posted job openings which suggest that they still need to hire additional workers.

A separate report also indicated that the number of people requesting for unemployment aid increased although it stayed at a significantly low level.

These requests for unemployment benefits are a substitute for layoffs therefore, such numbers suggest that businesses are slashing just a few jobs. This indicates that they are still confident about the strength of the economy to keep their employees.

The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that those who are looking for unemployment benefits increased by 7,000, resulting in a seasonally adjusted figure of 265,000. This also increases the four-week average by 750 to 268,000.

The total number of people receiving unemployment checks was 2.24 million, down almost 7 percent from last year's figure. Weekly claims are now under 300,000 for 54 weeks, the longest streak since 1973.

In January, the job openings posted by companies increased 4.9 percent to 5.5 million, the biggest since July, according to the Labor Department.

"It is hard to believe that the labor market could strengthen even further, but the claims data would suggest that it may have," wrote Stephen Stanley in a research note. He is the chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities.

These figures indicate that the U.S. economy is resilient considering the volatility of the financial markets and the overseas economic weakness. Consumers in the country are also spending at a vigorous pace. They are spending more on mobile data and eating more at restaurants.

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