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U.S. Employers Advertised Fewer Available Job Openings in July, Latest Sign of Weakness in Hiring

Associated Press (09/11/12)

U.S. companies advertised fewer jobs in July than they did a month earlier, suggesting that hiring may stay weak for some months. Job openings declined to a seasonally adjusted 3.67 million, down from 3.72 million in June, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey. Although the number of available jobs has risen 68% over the past three years, companies have been slow to fill them. Total hiring has risen just 11% during the same period.

Economists say there are many reasons why companies aren’t hiring more quickly. Some employers may not be offering enough pay to attract workers. Other reasons include a lack of skilled workers, concerns about the European fiscal crisis, slowing growth in China, and the expiration of U.S. tax breaks. ManpowerGroup chief executive Jeff Joerres says those trends are prompting even healthy companies to hold back on hiring. “It’s all I hear about,” he says. Some of his company’s clients say, “Our business is good, but we’re worried,” he notes.