U.S. employers post fewest job openings in 5 months

Employers in April posted the fewest job openings in five months, suggesting hiring will remain sluggish in the months ahead.
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER Published: June 20, 2012
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Job openings also dropped in manufacturing, retail, and education and health services.

Fewer people quit their jobs last month. That's a pessimistic sign, since more quits are evidence that workers are confident they can find new jobs elsewhere.

Employers hired 4.18 million people in April, 160,000 fewer than the previous month. The Labor Department's report measures gross job gains, while the monthly jobs reports are net figures that are calculated after subtracting layoffs and quits.

Nearly 4.1 million people were laid off, quit or retired in April. When that number is subtracted from the gross hiring figure, the total is close to the 77,000 net job gains in April reported this month by the Labor Department.

Companies are posting more job openings but aren't necessarily filling them. Openings increased by 13 percent in the past year, while gross hiring increased only 4 percent.

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