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

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,570.85 53.62 0.29%
Nasdaq 5,100.16 26.26 0.52%
S&P 500 2,175.03 9.86 0.46%
Treasuries 1.57 0.00 0.32%
Data as of 4:58am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Chesapeake Energy Co... 5.39 0.42 8.45%
General Electric Co 32.06 -0.53 -1.63%
Bank of America Corp... 14.38 0.11 0.77%
Southwestern Energy ... 14.47 1.26 9.54%
PayPal Holdings Inc 37.42 -2.71 -6.75%
Data as of Jul 22
Sponsors

Sections

HSBC banker arrested at JFK airport as he prepared to leave the country. He and former trader face federal charges they manipulated currency trades. More

With one exception, every vice presidential candidate in the past 40 years has released a tax return. Given that Donald Trump hasn't released his tax returns, will Mike Pence be the second exception? More

The augmented reality app had more iOS downloads its first week than any other app in history. More