WASHINGTON (9/12/13)--Job openings in July totaled 3.69 million, an 180,000 drop from a downwardly revised 3.87 million openings in June. July's total was the lowest level in six months, said the Labor Department Tuesday.
The data, coupled with reports last week indicating slower growth in payrolls than expected for August, signal uneven progress in the labor market, which is struggling to gain momentum as third quarter begins, said Bloomberg.com (Sept. 10).
Job openings dropped in construction, retail and health industries and in government agencies, but rose in manufacturing and the accommodation and food services.
In the 12 months ending in July, nearly 1.9 million jobs were created, representing 52.1 million hires and 50.2 million separations, said Bloomberg. The figures mean that 3.1 people applied for every job opening, an increase from the 1.8 who applied per position when the recession began in December 2007.
July dismissals--excluding retirements and those who left their job voluntarily--totaled 1.5 million, a decline from June's 1.6 million, said the report. Another 2.27 million people quit their jobs in July, up from 2.21 million who quit in June.