U.S. Economy

     (CN) – U.S. employers advertised the most job openings in nine months in April, but were slow to actually fill them, the government reported Wednesday.
     The numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest employer optimism is being tamped down by concerns about the overall rate of growth in the economy.
     The agency said job openings rose 2 percent to 5.8 million the highest number since December 2000. But at the same time, actual hiring declined to just under 5.1 million.
     Job openings increased in a number of industries, with the largest changes occurring in wholesale trade (+65,000), transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+58,000), durable goods manufacturing (+46,000), and real estate and rental and leasing (+41,000).
     In a second report on Wednesday, the Labor Department said that between December 2014 and December 2015, employment increased in 308 of the 342 largest U.S. counties.
     Williamson, Tenn., had the largest percentage increase with a gain of 6.8 percent over the year, above the national job growth rate of 1.9 percent. Within Williamson, the largest employment increase occurred in professional and business services, which gained 3,185 jobs over the year (10.9 percent).
     By comparison, Ector, Texas, had the largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment among the largest counties in the U.S., with a loss of 11.8 percent.
     Within Ector, natural resources and mining had the largest decrease in employment, with a loss of 4,509 jobs (-34.1 percent).
     County employment and wage data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program, which provides the only detailed quarterly and annual count of establishments, employment, and wages at the county, MSA, state, and national levels by detailed industry. These detailed data are published within six months following the end of each calendar quarter.

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