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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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One positive sign in the report: Layoffs fell.

Hiring looked a little better in October, according to the Labor Department's employment report released Friday. Employers added 171,000 jobs last month and hiring in August and September was better than first estimated.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent last month from 7.8 percent in September. But that was because more Americans began searching for work, likely reflecting increasing optimism about their chances.

The employment report measured net hiring and unemployment, while Tuesday's report looked at total hiring, layoffs and quits.

Job openings fell in manufacturing, construction, hotels and restaurants, and in government. There was also a big drop in openings in professional and business services, which includes both high-paying jobs such as architects and engineers as well as temporary services.