For example, it shows the overall number of people hired each month, rather than just the net gain. Total hires reached 4.6 million in September, a five-year high, but hiring has dipped since then.
In the past year, the number of job openings has increased 5.6 percent. But total hiring is only 1.7 percent higher.
Economists point to several reasons for the gap. Employers may not be offering sufficient pay and benefits to persuade more workers to take the jobs. They may also be pickier, believing they can find top-notch candidates with the unemployment rate still elevated.
Many employers say they can’t find enough qualified workers, particularly in high-skilled industries such as manufacturing and information technology.
Both Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, who will succeed Bernanke as chairman next month, have cited greater overall hiring and quits as key signs of the job market’s improvement.
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