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Job opening hit historic low

WASHINGTON — On the last business day of April, job openings in the U.S. numbered 2.5 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, and stood at the lowest level since the series began in December 2000.

The hires rate (3.1 percent) was unchanged in April and remained low, while the total separations rate (3.6 percent) was little changed over the month.

The job openings rate was unchanged in April at 1.9 percent. Since June 2007, the number of job openings has trended downward by 2.3 million, or 47 percent. In April, small declines in the job openings rate occurred in most industries; none of these declines were statistically significant. The job openings rate increased significantly for government due to an increase in job opportunities for temporary workers for Census 2010.

The hires level was little changed at 4.2 million in April. However, monthly hires experienced an overall downward trend, falling by 1.5 million, or 26 percent, since July 2006. Government experienced a significant increase in the hires rate over the month mainly due to hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010.  The hires rate did not change significantly in the remaining industries.

Regionally, the South experienced a significant increase in the hires rate.  All of the remaining regions did not change significantly.

The total separations rate (not seasonally adjusted) decreased significantly over the 12 months ending in April.

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