Job Openings, Hiring See Growth, but not Full Recovery to Pre-Recession Levels

According to a new report released today by the U.S. Labor of Bureau Statistics, there were 3.2 million job openings on the last business day of August 2010. The number was similar to the number of openings in the month of July but still represented a 37% (863,000 openings) increase over the number of openings "since the most recent series trough of 2.3 million in July 2009," which just followed the official end of the recession in June 2009, as reported by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
While there has been a noticeable improvement in job openings since this trough, it is clear that the job market has not gotten back to its pre-recession levels. When the recession began in December 2007, there were 4.4 million job openings; while the 3.2 million openings as of the end of August may have been an improvement since July 2009, it does not represent a full recovery from the recession.
The same pattern--an improvement over a 2009 low point, but not a full recovery--was seen in the hiring statistics from the month of August, included in the same report. There were 4.1 million hires in nonfarm industries for the month, a 7% (280,000 hires) increase over the number of hires at the most recent hiring trough, June 2009. Still, hires remain below the 5.0 million recorded in December 2007, when the recession began.
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