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U.S. Job Openings Topped 7 Million This Summer

American employers had more than seven million unfilled jobs for the first time on record this summer, reflecting a historically tight labor market that is causing some businesses to struggle to find workers.

There were a seasonally adjusted 7.136 million job openings on the last business day of August, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That extends further into record-high territory for data dating back to 2000.

Available jobs in August outnumbered unemployed workers actively looking for work by 902,000, the largest such gap on record. Prior to March, job openings had never exceeded unemployed workers in more than 17 years of monthly records.

The number of job openings rose by more than one million, or 18%, from a year earlier in August. Growth in openings expanded just ahead of the unemployment rate falling in September to 3.7%, a 49-year low.

The big professional and business services category — which captures occupations ranging from lawyers to temporary staffers — had the largest increase among major sectors, with 280,000 more openings when compared to August 2017. Federal-government openings rose by 42,000 in the past year, a 61% increase, the largest percentage gain among sectors.
Source: Dow Jones

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