Job Openings Flat in May, a Sign of Slow Hiring

By Staff | July 12, 2011 | 10:29 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of job postings didn't increase in May, a sign that hiring is unlikely to pick up this summer.

The Labor Department says employers advertised 3 million job openings, the same amount as in April and down from 3.1 million in March.

May's figure is higher than the 2.1 million job openings posted in July 2009, one month after the recession ended and the lowest total since the government began recording the data a decade ago. But it is also significantly below the 4.4 million openings recorded in December 2007, when the recession began.

Roughly 4.7 unemployed people, on average, were competing for each available job in May. That's up from 4.6 in April. In a healthy economy, the ratio is about 2 to 1.