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Companies Aren’t Filling Open Jobs, the BLS Says

There’s good news and bad news for job seekers in a report today from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The good news is that companies have lots of job openings—the most, in fact, since January 2001. The bad news is that they aren’t hiring to fill them.

There were 4.8 million jobs open at the end of August, up by 200,000 from a month earlier. But that’s not because companies were generating lots of new jobs. It’s because the hiring rate slowed down. The number of hires that occurred in August was 4.6 million, down from 4.9 million in July, the BLS reported. The rate of hires as a share of total employment also fell, as the chart below shows. “Job openings keep climbing while hiring takes a spill,” read the headline on a report by economist Daniel Silver of JPMorgan Chase.