(Reuters) – The number of jobs waiting to be filled fell in August, underscoring the pain in the labor market where millions of unemployed workers have been shut out of the economic recovery.
There were only 3.06 million available jobs at the end of August, down from July’s downwardly revised 3.21 million, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey released on Wednesday.
Monthly job openings — unfilled, posted vacancies that employers plan to fill within 30 days — help describe demand for labor. The number has consistently hovered well below the 4.4 million openings registered in December 2007, before the 2007-2009 recession.
Some 8 million Americans lost their jobs in the recession and only 1.4 million of those jobs have come back during the recovery.
Hiring rose marginally in August, with businesses and government hires climbing to 4.01 million from 3.98 million a month earlier, too small a gain to bring down the U.S. unemployment rate.
The rate at which workers were separated from jobs by layoffs or quits, a measure of labor turnover, was 3.1 percent in August.