Employers post fewer openings
WASHINGTON — U.S. employers posted fewer jobs in July than in June, further evidence that hiring may stay weak in the coming months.
Job openings fell to a seasonally adjusted 3.67 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That's down from June's 3.72 million job openings, which was revised lower.
The figures follow Friday's disappointing employment report, which said the economy added only 96,000 jobs in August. That's below July's total of 141,000 and the average 226,000 a month added in the first three months of the year. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent, but only because the number of people working or looking for work fell.
The drop in available positions has made job hunting more competitive. Nearly 12.8 million people were unemployed in July, meaning 3.5 people were competing for each open position. While that's down from a post-recession high of 7-to-1 in July 2009, the ratio is 2 to 1 in a healthy economy.