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

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,225.15 -54.59 -0.32%
Nasdaq 4,530.87 -48.92 -1.07%
S&P 500 1,997.41 -12.99 -0.65%
Treasuries 2.57 -0.02 -0.70%
Data as of 10:49am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Yahoo! Inc 39.46 -1.47 -3.59%
Bank of America Corp... 17.06 0.12 0.68%
Apple Inc 101.00 0.04 0.04%
EMC Corp 29.98 0.45 1.52%
Microsoft Corp 47.16 -0.37 -0.77%
Data as of 10:34am ET

Sections

European companies just can't get enough of their U.S. rivals: two German firms splash $25 billion in cash for drugs and energy companies. More

Gen Xers have higher salaries than their parents, but they have so much debt that they have a hard time saving, investing and buying homes. More

Want to protect yourself from hackers? Take advice from hackers. More

As Occupy Wall Street goes on its debt-abolishing tear, thousands of people across the country are begging them to forgive their loans. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.