National

Sep 8, 2010 12:15 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Economy: Job openings rise for first time since April

Job openings rose in July after two months of declines, a positive sign that companies could step up hiring in the coming months.

The Labor Department says the number of jobs advertised rose by 6.2 percent to 3.04 million. That's the highest total since April, when temporary census hiring inflated that month's figure.

Even with the increase, openings remain far below the 4.4 million that existed in December 2007, when the recession began.

The report, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, indicates heavy competition for jobs. In July, 4.8 unemployed people, on average, were vying for each opening. That's an improvement from the peak of 6.3 in November 2009. But it's far more than the 1.8 unemployed people competing for each opening when the recession began.

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