The U.S. Department of Labor has said that job openings dropped in August from 3.88 million in July to 3.56 million. Employers also advertised few jobs over the month but filled the highest number of positions in the past three months. Since the recession officially ended in 2009, available jobs have risen more than 60 percent, but continues to trail job numbers seen before the recession, which rose to a peak of more than 4 million.
The overall competitiveness of the job market remains high with an estimated 12.5 million people unemployed in August. However, the unemployment rate did fall from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent last month; a rate not seen in more than three-and-a-half years. The slide in unemployment came about due to the addition of 873,000 jobs during September, the biggest single jump in nearly a decade.
According to a separate survey, employers added 146,000 jobs on average from July through September, better than double the job growth rate of the prior three month period. The government has also reported that hiring was much stronger in July and August. Despite the growth, 100,000 additional new jobs per month are still necessary in order to bring relief to the over 12 million unemployed workers throughout the country.
Current data show that the economy is growing too slowly to stimulate further job growth, 1.3 percent during Q2 2012, a 2 percent drop from Q1. The general consensus of economists is that the growth rate will remain at near 2 percent for the remainder of the year.