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Nov 7, 10:32 AM EST

US job openings flat in September as hurricanes slow hiring

AP Photo
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. employers posted roughly the same number of open jobs in September as the previous month, partly because hurricanes held back hiring at restaurants and hotels.

The Labor Department says 6.09 million jobs were available at the end of September, not far from the record high of 6.14 million reached in July. The number of open jobs in restaurants and hotels fell 111,000.

Job offers were also likely held back by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Total hires fell 2.7 percent to 5.27 million, the lowest in five months.

Excluding the storms' impact, the job market remains mostly healthy. The government said last week that employers added a net total of 261,000 jobs in October. That partly reflected a recovery in hiring after the hurricanes dragged down jobs gains in September.

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