Businesses advertised fewer jobs in April than the previous month, a sign that hiring could remain weak in the coming months.
The Labor Department says employers posted 3 million job openings, down from 3.1 million from March. Job openings have been stuck at about 3 million for three months.
April's figure is much higher than the 2.1 million job openings posted in July 2009, one month after the recession ended and the lowest total since records began a decade ago. But it is also significantly below the 4.4 million openings recorded in December 2007, when the recession began.
There were 4.6 unemployed people, on average, competing for each available job in April. That's higher than the ratio of 2 to 1 that economists consider healthy.