•Job Openings in U.S. Fall to Lowest Level in Nine Years as Hiring Slows

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ByLoSellHi, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. It's as bad (or worse, in reality) as if we've just experienced the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, or the giant popping of the 3rd largest bubble (.com) took place...


    U.S. Job Openings Fall to Lowest Level in at Least Nine Years
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    By Courtney Schlisserman

    Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Job openings in the U.S. fell in August to the lowest level in at least nine years, signaling the economy hasn’t improved enough to prompt companies to take on more staff.

    The number of unfilled positions fell by 21,000 to 2.39 million, the fewest since records began in 2000, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Openings were down by 2.4 million, or 50 percent, since peaking in July 2007.

    The report showed hiring and firing both slowed in August, indicating last month’s acceleration in payroll losses may have been due to a lack of employment rather than a pick up in dismissals. Labor Department figures last week showed employers cut staff by a net 263,000 workers in September and the unemployment rate increased to the highest level since 1983.

    “We’re not going to signal the all-clear on the jobs market until we see hiring pick up,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York. “Firing has cooled off but firms have not really ramped up hiring activity.”

    The rate of job openings in August held at 1.8 percent, matching July’s reading as the lowest in records dating back to 2000. The pace of hiring fell to 3.1 percent after increasing in July for the first time this year. The separations rate dropped to 3.3 percent, also matching the lowest on record.

    The September payroll decrease exceeded the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and followed a 201,000 drop the prior month, last week’s Labor Department report showed. The unemployment rate climbed to 9.8 percent from 9.7 percent in August.

    Obama on Jobs

    President Barack Obama said Oct. 2 he is “working closely” with his economic advisers to “explore any and all additional options and measures that we might take to promote job creation.”

    The U.S. economy may grow at an average 2.8 percent pace annual pace in the second half of the year, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News this month. Consumer spending, after rebounding last quarter as auto sales jumped because of the government’s “cash-for-clunkers” plan, will probably decelerate in the last three months of the year as the jobless rate reaches 10 percent, the survey showed.

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week said economic growth next year probably won’t be strong enough to “substantially” bring down unemployment. The jobless rate will “still probably be above 9 percent by the end of 2010,” Bernanke said.

    Dell Inc. is among companies still trimming staff to cut costs. The world’s second-largest maker of personal computers said this week it will shut a North Carolina factory by January, putting about 600 employees out of work.

    Windstream Corp., a Little Rock, Arkansas-based fixed-line phone company, said last week it plans to trim about 350 positions, or 4.9 percent of its workforce, by the end of the year. The cuts are needed as the company changes its business model, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gardner said in a Sept. 30 statement.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Courtney Schlisserman in Washington at cschlisserma@bloomberg.net
    Last Updated: October 9, 2009 11:15 EDT