WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The number of available jobs in the United States edged higher in June but remained well short of the amount needed to boost America's weak economic recovery, according to government data.
There were about 3.1 million jobs open at the end of June, a slight boost from May's upwardly revised three million, according to the labour department's
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.
The job openings rate was steady at 2.3 per cent.
The relatively low number of job openings — unfilled, posted vacancies that non-farm employers plan to fill within 30 days — is helping keep the U.S. unemployment rate high.
The number of openings remains well below pre-recession levels. There were 4.4 million openings at the end of December 2007.
The rate of hires edged down slightly to 3.1 per cent in June, from 3.2 per cent the prior month. The separations rate also slipped to 3.1 per cent from 3.2 per cent in May. Hires and separations are indicators of labour movement during the month.
The U.S. jobless rate was 9.2 per cent in June. It edged down to 9.1 per cent in July, the latest data shows, largely because people left the workforce.
The recent report showed the rate at which people quit their jobs, which can indicate workers' confidence in their ability to find new jobs, was unchanged in June.
The rate of layoffs also held steady during the month at 1.4 per cent.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey encompasses employment data from about 16,000 establishments across the country.