Chart: Job openings nears 10 year low

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US Bureau of Labor: On the last business day of April, job openings in the U.S. numbered 2.5 million, which is the job openings level’s lowest point since the series began in December 2000. Since the most recent peak in June 2007, when there were 4.8 million job openings, the number of job openings has trended downward by 2.3 million, or 47 percent.

The job openings rate was unchanged in April at 1.9 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 job openings rate is the number of openings on the last business day of the month divided by employment plus job openings. A job opening requires that a specific position exists and there is work available for that position, work could start within 30 days regardless of whether a suitable candidate is found, and the employer is actively recruiting from outside the establishment to fill the position.

These data are from the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Data in this report are seasonally adjusted and data for the most recent month is preliminary. To learn more, see ” Job Openings and Labor Turnover: April 2009,” (PDF) (HTML) news release USDL 09-0633.