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May job openings dropped but still outpaced number of people looking for work

U.S. job openings dropped significantly in May, but the number of available positions still outpaced the number of people searching for work, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which were released Wednesday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/6c13196f399d3d788479583856f301eb/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. job openings dropped significantly in May, but the number of available positions still outpaced the number of people searching for work, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which were released Wednesday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 6 (UPI) -- U.S. job openings dropped sharply in May, but the number of available positions still outpaced the number of people searching for work, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday.

The bureau released statistics for May Wednesday, which showed 11.25 million total available positions, a decline from 11.68 million in April.

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Job vacancies fell from 7.2% to 6.9%, the bureau said in its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, or JOLTS report.

The largest decreases in job openings in May came in professional and business services which saw a drop of 325,000 positions.

The number of openings in the durable goods manufacturing sector declined by 138,000, while the nondurable goods manufacturing field saw a decline of 70,000 positions.

The number of layoffs increased in May, topping out at 1.39 million people. However, the number of total separations was little changed at 6.0 million.

The hiring rate remained unchanged for the month at 4.3%, while the overall number of new hirings did not change significantly with 6.5 million Americans beginning a new job.

The Bureau is expected to release its monthly non-farm payrolls report Friday.

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By comparison in March, there were a record 11.5 million job openings in the United States, meaning two open positions for every adult nationwide that was unemployed.

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