Industry Report

US Job Openings Slip 1.7% in August as Labor Market Slows

By BANI SAPRA AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. job openings fell 1.7% in August and hires edged down, bolstering views that the labor market may lose momentum as economic uncertainty and a manufacturing recession squeeze employers.

The Labor Department says employers advertised 7.1 million available jobs in August, down from 7.2 million available jobs in July. Job openings reached a peak of 7.6 million last November but have fallen by about 500,000 since then.

The job market has been a critical buffer against an economic downturn, as it gave Americans the confidence to spend freely. A yearlong trade war with China has hit manufacturing and weakened business investment, but consumer spending has so far propelled the economy forward.

The government said employers added 136,000 jobs in September as the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, a half-century low.

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