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The number of job openings was little changed at 5.5 million on the last business day of October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Openings were up in health care and social assistance, but down in professional and business services, federal government, and mining and logging. The number of job openings was little changed in all four regions of the country.


There wasn't much change in the number of hires in October -- 5.1 million -- about the same as the month before for a hires rate of 3.5%.

The number of hires was little changed for total private and for government, with hires down by 26,000 in state and local government education and little change in all other industries. The number of hires also was little changed in all four regions.


Total separations includes quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations and is referred to as turnover.

There were 4.9 million total separations in October, comprised of 3.0 million quits, 1.5 million layoffs and discharges other separations that was little changed from September.

Net employment change

Over the 12 months ending in October, hires totaled 62.6 million and separations totaled 60.1 million, for a net employment gain of 2.5 million. These totals include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

The complete report is available on the DOL website.

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Jobless claims

A big drop last week in the number of initial jobless claims.

The Department of Labor (DOL) reports there were 258,000 first-time applications for state unemployment benefits filed in the week ending December 3, down 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level.

Initial claims have now been below 300,000 for 92 consecutive weeks, the longest streak since 1970.

The four-week moving average inched up 1,000 from the previous week's unrevised average to 252,500.

The latter measurement is considered a more accurate gauge of the labor market due to its lack of volatility.

The full report may be found on the DOL website.

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