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Jobs data remain largely unchanged

There were 2.5 million job openings on the last business day of Oct. 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The job openings rate was unchanged over the month at 1.9 percent. The openings rate has held relatively steady since March 2009.

The hires rate (3 percent) and the separations rate (3.2 percent) were essentially unchanged and remained low.

After falling steeply from mid-2007 through Feb. 2009, the job openings rate has been steady at 1.8 percent or 1.9 percent since March 2009. The number of job openings fell by 2.3 million from the most recent peak in June 2007 to April 2009 but has declined by only 7,000 since.

The hires rate has remained between 3.0 percent and 3.2 percent since Feb. 2009. The hires level fell by 1.5 million from the most recent peak in July 2006 to March 2009 but has declined by only 133,000 since.

Over the 12 months ending in October, hires totaled 49.9 million and separations totaled 54.9 million, yielding a net employment loss of five million.

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