US job openings in August near 14-year high, yet actual hiring dropped steeply

Economic Indicators Associated Press

U.S. employers advertised the most job openings in nearly 14 years during August, yet their pace of hiring fell compared to July.

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The Labor Department says that available jobs rose 230,000 to 4.84 million in August. Restaurants, hotels and health care providers drove much of the increase, which resulted in the most openings since January 2001.

But total hiring in August fell 294,000 to 4.64 million, driven by declines in construction and retail. This suggests a potential mismatch between the wages employers are willing to pay and the skills of the workers available to be hired.

The report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey or JOLTS, provides a more detailed look at the job market than the monthly employment report.