Na­tion still near record for job open­ings

Houston Chronicle - - BUSINESS -

WASHINGTON — U.S. em­ploy­ers are ad­ver­tis­ing near-record lev­els of job open­ings, though the to­tal slipped in Au­gust from July.

Job open­ings fell 0.9 per­cent in Au­gust to just un­der 6.1 mil­lion, the La­bor Depart­ment said Wednesday, from 6.14 mil­lion in the pre­vi­ous month. July’s fig­ure was re­vised slightly lower but is still the largest num­ber of avail­able jobs since records be­gan in De­cem­ber 2000.

Job open­ings have risen as the num­ber of un­em­ployed has fallen to the low­est in a decade.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate, cur­rently 4.2 per­cent, has hit a 16-year low. That has left busi­nesses strug­gling to fill open po­si­tions.

Even so, av­er­age wage growth has been slug­gish, sug­gest­ing that companies aren’t of­fer­ing suf­fi­ciently healthy pay to en­tice work­ers al­ready em­ployed to switch jobs.

Alan Diaz / As­so­ci­ated Press

A job fair this month at the Dol­phin Mall in Sweet­wa­ter, Fla., drew po­ten­tial ap­pli­cants. There are nearly 6.1 mil­lion U.S. open­ings, the La­bor Depart­ment says.

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