November 6, 2012 / 3:13 PM / in 8 years

Job openings slip slightly in September, quits decline

Job seekers stand in line to meet with prospective employers at a career fair in New York City, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of job openings slipped slightly in September, suggesting the labor market is still recovering at a slow pace, data showed on Tuesday.

Job openings - a measure of labor demand - fell to 3.56 million from 3.66 million in August, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

The hiring rate also decreased to 3.1 percent from 3.3 percent.

Workers were less willing to leave their current employers, with the rate at which Americans quit their jobs decreasing to 1.5 percent from 1.6 percent. That rate was usually above 2 percent over the few years before the 2007-09 recession.

Tuesday’s report comes as Americans cast their ballots to decide the next president after a campaign that has focused on the lackluster economy and labor market.

There were 3.4 unemployed Americans for every job opening, holding steady with 3.4 in August. Before the start of the recession, that ratio was under 2 workers for every opening.

A separate labor market report last week showed encouraging signs for October with the pace of hiring picking up, while more workers resumed the job hunt. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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