US job openings slip 1.7% in August as labor market slows

Business

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo a “Now hiring” sign is displayed on the front door of a Staples store in Manchester, N.H. On Wednesday, Oct. 9, the Labor Department reports on job openings and labor turnover for August. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. job openings fell 1.7% in August and hires edged down, bolstering views that the labor market may lose momentum as economic uncertainty and a manufacturing recession squeeze employers.

The Labor Department says employers advertised 7.1 million available jobs in August, down from 7.2 million available jobs in July. Job openings reached a peak of 7.6 million last November but have fallen by about 500,000 since then. This is the third straight month that job openings have dropped, slumping to the lowest level since March 2018.The quits rate, which indicates worker confidence in finding a new job, fell back to its summer rate of 2.3%.

Economists have viewed the sustained drop in job openings as a sign that that employers are beginning to pull back on hiring.

“Today’s numbers give credence to the argument that the labor market slowdown is driven by employer demand,” said Nick Bunker, an economist at jobs site Indeed.com.

Job openings declined especially in the manufacturing and information sectors, which in turn may have affected regional levels. In the Midwest, job openings plunged 10.8%.

Still, some signs suggest the labor market remains strong. There are 1.2 job openings for every unemployed person, suggesting that many businesses still remain hungry for workers.

The job market has been a critical buffer against an economic downturn, as it gave Americans the confidence to spend freely. A yearlong trade war with China has hit manufacturing and weakened business investment, but consumer spending has so far propelled the economy forward.

The government said employers added 136,000 jobs in September as the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, a half-century low.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Turkey Day Giveaway

Days

Hours

Minutes

Seconds

Recent Videos

41st annual Chamber of Horrors

Thumbnail for the video titled "41st annual Chamber of Horrors"

Dogs test speed in Agility Trial

Thumbnail for the video titled "Dogs test speed in Agility Trial"

Graham ISD receives much-needed help from GRMC

Thumbnail for the video titled "Graham ISD receives much-needed help from GRMC"

Burkburnett woman sentenced for child abandonment and endangerment

Thumbnail for the video titled "Burkburnett woman sentenced for child abandonment and endangerment"

WF man sentenced for theft of union funds

Thumbnail for the video titled "WF man sentenced for theft of union funds"

Local father who lost son to fatal car accident uses tragedy to educate others

Thumbnail for the video titled "Local father who lost son to fatal car accident uses tragedy to educate others"

Kamay Volunteer Fire Department hosts steak feed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Kamay Volunteer Fire Department hosts steak feed"

Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome awareness

Thumbnail for the video titled "Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome awareness"

Mom builds Halloween display for terminally ill son

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mom builds Halloween display for terminally ill son"

Duncan School Threat

Thumbnail for the video titled "Duncan School Threat"

Sikes Senter Mall robbery

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sikes Senter Mall robbery"

Horses help inmates struggling with anger and anxiety

Thumbnail for the video titled "Horses help inmates struggling with anger and anxiety"
Get FREE Text Alerts
Report It

Latest News

More Local News