Good News on Hiring: U.S. Job Openings Rose in May

Now hiring
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER

WASHINGTON -- U.S. employers advertised more jobs in May than April, a hopeful sign after three months of weak hiring.

Job openings rose to a seasonally adjusted 3.6 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That's up from 3.4 million in April. It's also the second-highest level in nearly four years, just behind March's 3.7 million.

Still, layoffs also increased, an indication that the job market is still struggling.

A rise in openings could mean hiring will pick up in the coming months. It typically takes one to three months to fill a job.

Even with the increase, the competition for jobs remains fierce. There were 12.7 million unemployed people in May, or an average of 3.5 unemployed people for each open job. In a healthy job market, the ratio is usually around 2 to 1.

And hiring has slowed sharply this spring. Employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, the third straight month of weak hiring.

For the April-June quarter, the economy has added an average of only 75,000 jobs a month. That's just a third of the 226,000 jobs a month added in the January-March quarter.

The unemployment rate remained stuck at 8.2% in June. The slowdown has raised concerns that the sluggish economy is weakening further.

Wages for those who have jobs are barely keeping up with inflation. Without more jobs and higher pay, consumers won't have the income needed to fuel more spending and economic growth.

The slow pace of hiring also suggests businesses aren't confident enough in the economy to add permanent employees. Nearly a third of the jobs added last month were temporary hires. That is usually seen as a good sign, because it indicates employers need more workers and will soon hire permanently. But many economists now say it suggests that companies are simply reluctant to workers for the long term.

Overall, the economy isn't growing fast enough to generate much more jobs. The economy expanded at a 1.9% annual rate in the first three months of the year, down from a 3% pace in the final three months of last year. Growth likely didn't pick up much in the April-June quarter, economists say.


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wazzucougars75

I love how Huff Post will do anything to try and make a horrible situation sound better....the Liberal Media is horse ****!

July 11 2012 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rforeverfree

bye, bye blackbird.

July 11 2012 at 7:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ectullis

Clueless-in- Chief must go.

July 11 2012 at 6:36 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
ectullis

It's the same old song.

July 11 2012 at 6:33 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Terry

What a crock! Where are these job openings, and just because a business is advertising an opening, DOES NOT mean they are actually looking to hire. I believe the companies are getting a "stimulus" to advertise openings to try and boost low morale in the U.S. Also, be prepared to have a college degree to work at McDonald's flipping burgers!

July 11 2012 at 5:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stopusagiveaway

Sure and we are going to believe the CARD-CARRYING former Director and still member of The Race=666=LaRaza: give us a break..deport her and all her ILLEGALs, illegitimates, illiterates.
Her job is Miner Safety and HEalth: while she was out in Ca at a Day Labor Center declaring "DOn't be affraid, we are the Feds we are here to help you" West Virgina miners took their last breaths. She will become them in the HELL she created by her aiding and abetting, beyond negligence...in eternal HELL..taking their last breaths and a whole lot more along with her boss appointee illegal in the White House..beyond disgusti=-EVIL..

July 11 2012 at 4:18 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
rini1946

not sure how many of these new jobs are goverment pd jobs. (where the govement paid employers to hire people and they pay most of the wages. Why had the goverment let chrysler and gm ship most of thier jobs over seas. Gm is building a new research labs in china and they also gave china all thier inovations. I am sorry but the unions are dead or will be shortly when gm ships all the jobs out. Also China is buying a lot of the american businesses like utilities. What we have to do is forget the a holes in government and buy item made in the US. I hate to say it toyota ( which I have said I would never buy ) has more parts and cars made in USA cars than the big three.

July 11 2012 at 3:57 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
bjrboyd

This story is nothing but AP spin; the headline is pure claptrap.

AP headline: "Obama's economic plans save the Earth from a martian invasion!" (It's true! Can you prove his economic policies didn't? Have you seen any "thing" from Mars on Earth?)

July 11 2012 at 12:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
pitmanlaw

I asked my friend how his business is doing (he sells materials to the shoe industry here in California) and he replied that he is swamped with orders.....the busiest he's been in 4 years. This is not a short term thing but a real recovery for him. He says Obama's plan is working.

July 10 2012 at 11:23 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to pitmanlaw's comment
summerctz

One success story among how many failures???

July 11 2012 at 6:39 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
cpo1514

what direction are the shower tongs pointing???

July 11 2012 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gethb

Let us be honest with each other for once. If you owned a company that had to be zero tolerant. Just how many of those 20 something yahoos applying would you really hire This is the real unemployment numbers. Right my friends..

July 10 2012 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply