Labor Dept.: More Jobs Open, but Hiring Slow

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted the most open jobs in eight months in March, but total hiring slowed, providing a mixed picture of the labor market.

The Labor Department says job openings jumped 2.7 percent to 5.76 million, the most since September. That may point to better hiring in the coming months. The number of available jobs rose in manufacturing; professional and business services, which includes engineering and management consulting; and government.

Yet hiring slowed to 5.3 million from 5.5 million. That suggests employers became more reluctant to fill open positions, possibly because of slower economic growth from October through March.

The pullback in hiring was confirmed last week, when the government reported that job gains slowed to 160,000 in April, down from an average of 232,000 in the previous 12 months.

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