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Number of job openings hits record high in America WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Good news if you are on the hunt. Job openings surged to a record high in July even as hiring fell, signaling a tighter labor market that's expected to soon push up wage growth. Employers advertised 5.8 million jobs, up from 5.3 million in June and the highest on records dating to 2000. Professional and business services added 122,000 openings; trade, transportation and utilities, 73,000; and leisure and hospitality, 69,000.

The number of hires slipped to 5 million from 5.2 million, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. As the unemployment rate falls to near-normal levels, many employers are struggling to find workers -- a dilemma some economists attribute to mismatches between the skills of unemployed workers and employers' needs. The jobless rate was 5.3% in July and dropped to 5.1% in August.

The number of people quitting jobs declined by 43,000 but remained at a solid 2.7 million. Quits typically indicate a healthy labor market in which workers feel confident enough to leave one job for another. And in a sign that leverage is shifting to employees, there were 1.4 unemployed workers for each job opening in July. Despite the tightening market, growth in average hourly earnings has remained modest, though it ticked up to 2.2% annually in August from 2% in June, perhaps signaling a coming acceleration. The Labor Department reported that employers added a solid 245,000 jobs in July, revising up its previous estimate by 30,000.

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