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US employers post fewest jobs in 5 months

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012
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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in September after advertising more in August than first estimated. The report suggests hiring will likely remain modest in the coming months.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings dropped by 100,000 to 3.56 million, the fewest in five months. August's openings were revised up to 3.66 million.

The number of available jobs has jumped about 63 percent since July 2009, one month after the recession ended. It remains well below the more than 4 million jobs a month advertised before the recession began in December 2007.

The job market remains very competitive. With 12.1 million people unemployed in September, there were 3.4 unemployed people, on average, competing for each open job. In a healthy economy, that ratio is roughly 2 to 1.

Employers filled fewer available positions in September than in August. And the number of people who quit fell to the lowest level in 10 months. That's a bad sign for the job market, because it suggests workers see fewer opportunities to move to a better job. Workers tend to quit when they have other job offers.

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