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In July, 3.7 million job openings

  |   Sept. 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday there were 3.7 million job openings in July, virtually unchanged from June.

"The number of openings was little changed in all industries except healthcare and social assistance where the number decreased," the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

The number of unemployed workers, meanwhile, stood at 12.8 million in the month, which put the job seekers ratio at 3.5-to-1, an increase from the June ratio of 3.4 job seekers to every job opening, the Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think-tank said.

The job ratio in July is a sharp improvement from the summer of 2009, when the ratio peaked at 6.7 job seekers to every job opening.

However, "it is unlikely that the small increase in July means the labor market is deteriorating. Instead, it points to the lack of truly robust growth," the think-tank said.

The ratio indicates that for 66 percent of unemployed workers looking for jobs, there is no job to be had.

As of July, "there are simply no jobs for more than two out of three unemployed workers," the Economic Policy Institute said.

On the bright side, workers counted as laid off fell by 207,000 in July to 1.55 million, the lowest since December 2000.

In July, 27,000 workers voluntarily quit their jobs, which is considered good news, as those who quit a job are usually doing so because they found a better job.

Voluntary quits are increasing, having climbed 34.6 percent since September 2009, but remaining 24.9 percent below their 2007 average, the report said.

Hiring also "has a long way to go," the Economic Policy Institute said.

Hiring is up 14.9 percent from June 2009, the official end of the last recession. However, hiring, which fell by 55,000 in July, is 18.5 percent below its 2007 average, the report said.

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