Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Job openings remain scarce for unemployed

By Chris Isidore, senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of job openings increased slightly in August, but there was no real improvement of the odds that unemployed workers will find a job, a government report showed Thursday.

There were 3.2 million job openings in August, up from 3.1 million positions that were available in July, the Labor Department said.

That means there were 4.6 unemployed job seekers per job opening, unchanged from the previous month.

That's an improvement from the record high of 6.2 job seekers per opening set in July, August and November of last year. But there was little improvement this summer as job growth nearly stalled out.

The ratio of job openings to the number of unemployed was only two-to-one from the end of 2000, when the Labor Department started tracking openings, to the month before the recession started in December 2007. But it has averaged 4.2-to-1 since the start of the recession. The ratio has lingered between 4.6 and 5.1 job seekers per opening since April.

But the pace of hiring slowed slightly in August, according to the report, with new hires slipping to 4.1 million from 4.3 million in July.

Friday the Labor Department is due to report September employment numbers. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com are forecasting no change from August in the number of workers on payrolls. The unemployment rate is expected to creep up to 9.7% from 9.6%. To top of page

Search for Jobs

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,161.19 -8.49 -0.05%
Nasdaq 5,190.10 -25.87 -0.50%
S&P 500 2,126.41 -6.63 -0.31%
Treasuries 1.84 0.00 0.11%
Data as of 7:59pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.68 -0.23 -1.36%
General Electric Co 29.22 0.59 2.06%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 5.79 -0.29 -4.77%
Apple Inc 113.72 -0.76 -0.66%
Ford Motor Co 11.72 -0.02 -0.17%
Data as of 4:15pm ET


Founder of social media campaign against Thanksgiving shopping says consumer backlash has retailers starting to close on the holiday. More

Alex Simon believes Chipotle fired him for speaking up about the company's 'shady practices.' He's trying to join a lawsuit with 10,000 other workers suing the company for cheating them out of wages. More

Soylent, the Silicon Valley food tech startup, touts itself as the world's 'easiest nutritional food.' But it's actually making some people sick. More

You can contribute as much as $18,000 to your 401(k) in 2017, and as much as $5,500 to your IRA or Roth IRA. These limits are unchanged compared to last year. More