capitol buildingThe U.S. Department of Labor has reported that job openings dropped by 100,000 in September, the fewest in five months. August job openings were at 3.66 million falling to 3.56 million last month. Since the end of the recession, the number of available jobs has risen by 63 percent, however jobs are still considerably less than the more than 4 million jobs available per month before the beginning of the recession.

On average, the report noted that there were 3.4 unemployed applicants competing for each open job, much higher than the “healthy” ratio of 2 to 1. Also, fewer positions were filled in September than in August though the number of people quitting fell to the lowest level of the year. This suggests that fewer job offers are being proffered as more workers quit when being courted by other employers.

Hiring did begin to improve slightly in October with 171,000 jobs being added though the unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 points to 7.9 percent. This increase likely came about due to more Americans seeking employment compared to prior months. Job openings fell in the manufacturing, construction, hotels and restaurants, and government sectors and decreased even more significantly in professional and business services.

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