Job openings down, layoff up in May, according to latest Labor Department statistics

Job openings dropped in May from the previous month and layoffs increased slightly, the Labor Department said today.

The dip follows two months of increasing openings, driven partly by temporary government hiring for the 2010 census.

Although May's total is 37% higher than the low point of 2.3 million openings in July 2009, it's still significantly lower than pre-recession levels of about 4.5 million openings per month.

Layoffs in May increased to 1.9 million, but remain at pre-recession levels. The department says layoffs peaked at 2.6 million in January 2009.

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